Not Your Kind of People
|Not Your Kind of People|
|Studio album by Garbage|
|Released||May 14, 2012|
|Genre||Alternative rock, electronic rock|
|Singles from Not Your Kind of People|
Not Your Kind of People is the fifth studio album by American alternative rock group Garbage. The album marks the return of the band after a seven-year "hiatus", taken after the release of their last set, and had a worldwide release date of May 14, 2012. The album was released worldwide through the band's own record label, STUNVOLUME.
Guitarist Duke Erikson said at the launch of the record that "working with Garbage again was very instinctual. Like getting on a bicycle... with three other people"; Erikson added, "We haven't felt this good about a Garbage record since the last one." The band emphasized that they did not want to reinvent themselves, but embrace their sonic identity, reflecting their classic sound whilst updating it for 2012. Although Manson's morose dispositions have a presence on the record, many of the songs share a more optimistic outlook on life, influenced by some of Manson's personal experiences during their hiatus.
Recorded mostly at various recording studios in California, Not Your Kind of People was produced by Garbage, and was engineered and mixed by Billy Bush. The album contains bass guitar parts recorded by Justin Meldal-Johnsen while Finnish actress Irina Björklund performs the musical saw on one track. Both daughters of band-members Steve Marker and Butch Vig laid down vocals on the album's title track. Photos for the album package were shot by Autumn de Wilde at the Paramour Mansion in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.
The album was preceded by the release of "Blood for Poppies" as the lead single internationally, while in the United Kingdom, "Battle in Me" was marketed as the album's lead single. Not Your Kind of People received generally positive reception from critics. It debuted at number 17 on the Billboard 200, at number 10 on the UK albums chart, peaked at number 3 on Billboard's Independent Albums chart and topped the Alternative Albums chart.
Garbage decided to take a hiatus in 2005, following the troubled production of their fourth studio album Bleed Like Me and cutting short the album's promotional tour. Aside from a reunion in 2007 to compose new tracks for the compilation Absolute Garbage, the band members found themselves involved in various projects, with Butch Vig producing Green Day, Foo Fighters, and Muse, while singer Shirley Manson recorded an unreleased solo album and made her professional acting debut as a series regular on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. In 2009, Vig and Manson met at the funeral of Pablo Castelaz, the six-year old son of Dangerbird Records founder Jeff Castelaz, and had a conversation where, according to Vig, "we felt like we had some unfinished business, and we realized how precious life is and how important music has been in our lives." Manson suggested calling guitarists Duke Erikson and Steve Marker to get together and write some songs. One week later the band joined together at a Los Angeles studio and wrote the song "Battle In Me". In mid-2010, the entire group were in Los Angeles for a birthday, where Manson suggested they book a studio and spend time writing. Three or four song ideas came together during this time. "But we didn't go right into making-a-record mode", Erikson recalled. "It took a bit of time for us to realize that we were going to make an album." The project only took off in February 2011, when Manson called Vig asking to reunite the band and try making a new record.
Unlike the previous albums, which were done at Vig's Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin, Not Your Kind of People was mostly recorded in Los Angeles, where both Vig and Manson live. Smart was only used for some of Erikson's parts. The working process was also different in that while the previous records had the band gathering for a whole year at Smart, the band would work two weeks per month in Los Angeles, with Erikson and Marker flying in from Wisconsin and Colorado, respectively, then spend another two in their home studios while e-mailing ideas back and forth to develop songs. Manson would also visit Vig's GrungeIsDead studio to experiment with vocals. Then they would get back together in the studio, which according to Marker "would be fun again because we hadn't seen these people for a couple of weeks."
The first recordings were done in two weeks of jam sessions at The Pass in Studio City. Afterwards the band moved to Red Razor Sounds at Atwater Village, where Garbage's long time engineer and Manson's husband Billy Bush was doing a rough mix of the tracks. Vig declared that the album's mood emerged from the combination of the "trashy and lo-tech" studio which he compared to a small clubhouse with the band's ProTools and samplers.
The band members stated that following the troublesome final years signed to Geffen Records, being an independent act helped improve their mood, with Vig stating, "There was no one telling us what to do. We weren't signed to a label. We were between managers. So we made this on our own terms, and we decided early on we didn't want to reinvent ourselves, we just wanted to embrace exactly who we are and do the things as a band that we love. I think that's one reason why there is a vibe or a spirit that some people have said is reminiscent of the first Garbage record." Marker added that "the business stuff ends up taking over some of that fun. We got really bogged down in people's expectations of what we were supposed to be doing, being on bigger record labels and stuff. With all that behind us, it was suddenly exciting again and it felt a lot like it did when we first formed, which was really just sort of a fun idea that we had", and Manson claimed that "people at record companies live in fear of being wrong. Music cannot thrive in that environment. It is an unruly art form. You can't keep treating it like sausage meat. You have to let it morph and move and breathe." Vig also stated that the conflicts that emerged during Bleed Like Me went away during the hiatus as "enough time had passed that any sort of weirdness or tension that had risen between us all had dissipated."
The band worked on estimatedly "25 or 26 songs" during the album sessions. While a few are still "bits and pieces", Vig stated they might finish them as further bonus tracks, B-sides, or as part of an EP throughout the campaign. Erikson stated that the bonus tracks of the deluxe edition were songs that did not get ready in time to join the regular tracklist. He also declared that while most songs were new compositions, some were old ideas, such as the "10 years old or something" track "Show Me". Throughout the recording sessions for the album, the band also mentioned several song titles via Facebook and Twitter. These included: "Alone", "Animal", "Choose Your Weapon", "Time Will Destroy Everything" and "T.R.O.U.B.L.E.". Manson confirmed on Twitter that Animal became The One, a song from the deluxe version.
Manson explained that the title Not Your Kind of People was "a call to arms in a way to anyone who feels like we do about the world", saying that "it can be great to be outsider." The singer felt that this applied to them as the band "never fit into a music scene" and that she "in my life I’ve never been an insider." The singer also described the title as "a two-fingered salute to people who reject or criticize us", stating the band was "only really interested in people who share our outlook" as she considered that their fans were "the people who connect with what you're saying and how you say it."
Release and promotion
A post on Garbage's Facebook page on January 2012 announced that the band would create their own record label, STUNVOLUME, to self-release their new studio album, distributed in the United States by Fontana. Overseas distribution deals were made with Cooperative Music, Liberator Music, Sony Music Japan and Universal Canada. On March 7, 2012, Garbage confirmed the album tracklist via YouTube. Four further tracks recorded for the deluxe edition were confirmed later in a press release issued through the band's own label. In the United Kingdom, 250 copies of the deluxe edition were signed by Garbage and issued as part of the Record Store Day campaign.
"Blood for Poppies" was confirmed as the lead single to launch the album. The song was made available for free digital download from the group's website after the song leaked online early. A digital single was confirmed for release in Australia; while a limited edition 7" single, backed with an exclusive remix by Butch Vig, was distributed to independent record stores across North America to mark Record Store Day on April 21, 2012. "Battle In Me" was confirmed as the lead-single exclusively for the United Kingdom. A limited edition 7" vinyl was be issued on April 21 to mark Record Store Day, while a proper commercial release followed on May 7, 2012. To promote the album, "Automatic Systematic Habit" was released as a free download through iTunes in the US on May 8, 2012. "Big Bright World" was released as the album's second single in Australia on June 1, 2012. "Control" was used on the 2012 video game The Amazing Spider-Man and featured in the launch trailer of the game. On July 8, Manson announced that "Control" was the band's next US single.
Composition and style
According to Vig, Not Your Kind of People marks a return to the sound of Garbage's first two albums, Garbage and Version 2.0 - "There's lots of elements of things we've always loved: noisy guitars, big electronic beats, atmospheric film moments" - adding that the band "wanted to make a record sound like something that we want to hear when we're driving the car." While the sound was reminiscent of the band's early work, the production attempted for a more natural sound instead of cleaning up the sound through computers, "to sound kind of trashy and for the songs to blow out a little bit." Vig added that "we did not want to reinvent ourselves. We wanted to just embrace exactly who we are and what we like to do and just sort of update it sonically for 2012. For better or worse, when we approach a song, it's going to end up sounding like Garbage. I think we have a strong sonic identity, and I think that's an asset these days." Manson similarly said that what mattered most was the record sounding authentic to who they are as a band.
"Beloved Freak" includes a sample of Klaus Nomi, as the other members felt the artist fit Manson's lyrics about "people being an outsider, feeling like a freak, and not fitting in and trying to come to terms with that it's okay to feel like you're an outsider." Manson considered that while returning to the band's classic sound "it fits in with radio programming right now", especially as she felt that regarding their unique sound, "much to our surprise there hasn’t been another band like ours since we came off the road." MTV and KROQ-FM also described the sound of the album electronic rock; nevertheless Jason Heller of The A.V. Club also wrote that "the group’s shoegaze influences are more in vogue now than they were 15 years ago."
Most of the lyrics were written by Manson, but this time the singer asked her bandmates for inputs on songwriting. Many songs have a more optimistic view in life, inspired by Manson overcoming a desire to quit music after the death of her mother and realizing how important her work is to her fans. Darker themes still appear as Manson described herself as "enthusiastic and passionate, but I do see death marching toward me." An example was "I Hate Love", criticizing "the commercialized idea of love and what pain that puts us through" along with "knowing that there will be no more torture in your life than really, truly loving somebody who doesn't love you back." Manson also incorporated some self-confidence and knowledge of her personality achieved during acting classes, in which she accepted that "was never going to be the cheerleader or the beautiful, conventional girl who fits in everywhere."
In late 2011, Garbage announced their return to touring upon the release of Not Your Kind of People. The shows are the first performances by the band since 2007. "Thinking about going back on the road is both thrilling and terrifying in equal measure," Manson stated, "...but we've always enjoyed a little pain mixed in with our pleasure."
|The Irish Times|||
Not Your Kind of People received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 63 based on 28 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". A review from the UK-based paper The Guardian gave the album four out of a possible five stars, stating that "Their first album since 2005 returns to the blueprint of their first two, best albums, the major change being fewer electronics, more fuzzy guitars and production aimed at the Gaga generation... the surprise is the title track—a beautiful, otherworldly cross between a John Barry Bond theme and a David Bowie outsider anthem." The Brisbane-based newspaper The Courier-Mail gave the album three out of a possible five stars; the reviewer Cameron Adams writing: "Musically, they still find that sweet spot between Motown and Nirvana, via the Pretenders and Prodigy...It's refreshing to know they're still pushing pop music to its darkest limits."
Allmusic noted that unlike their previous two albums, "there is no grappling with new sounds and styles, only an embrace of the thick aural onslaught of "Stupid Girl" and "Vow"...homing in on their essence." Further stating that their hooks are efficiently delivered and "no flab in either the composition or production" is evident, "the album avoids the moody detours that sometimes bogged down their latter-day records, [emphasizing on] the pure, simple power of melody. Every hallmark of Garbage is here, the only concessions to their advancing age arriving via Shirley Manson's keenly aware lyrics, leaving the rest of the record to stand as a simultaneous testament and revival of their strengths", summarizing that "what once was futuristic now sounds nostalgic." About.com's Tim Grierson commented that out of the many '90s bands that reunited in the last few years, "none have done it with as much gusto as Garbage…Garbage return with their sexy, edgy vibe intact. Singing through swirls of guitars and keyboards, Shirley Manson sounds as ferocious and bruised as ever, searching for passion on the slow-burn "Sugar" and offering solace to a fellow outsider on "Beloved Freak."" The Bangkok Post remarked that the album "sees the group sticking firmly to their '90s alt-rock guns. The same fuzzy-guitar/catchy-hook formula [in songs like Automatic Systematic Habit, Blood For Poppies, and Battle In Me] continues to dominate the album [...]With such a big cluster of guitar riffs and indulgent use of electronics, the title-track, Sugar and Beloved Freak do offer moments of (relatively) quiet bliss. The latter two, in particular, refreshingly showcase the essence of Manson's voice almost on a par with the perfection of previous singles such as #1 Crush or even Bleed Like Me." It is proposed however that, apart from older, devoted 90's fans, the album probably won't connect with contemporary audiences. Time likewise stated that the album is most likely to resonate with fans of 90's alternative fusion, characterizing the album as "an anomaly" in the current musical climate and not likely to gain significant radio-play. Pitchfork summarized the album as "a statement from a band that's stuck, combatively, to its guns. The times have changed but Garbage haven't, and now, for better and for worse, they've at last become alternative to everything."
The album received negative reviews from the likes of NME, who, despite hearing "flashes of their previous class" in songs like 'Battle In Me' proving "they haven’t completely lost their confrontational electro-rock streak", considered too much of it "pedestrian, anodyne and utterly unremarkable", and wondered "why they ever ditched the near-perfect mid-'90s FM rock of "Stupid Girl" to become every Russian Placebo-loving nut's third favourite band." BBC Music writer Tom Hocknell noted that the band's relocation from their base in Madison, Wisconsin to L.A. made "no discernible difference to the band's sound" and commented that the album "occasionally lapses into overproduced mess," before summarizing that Manson "denied that the band succumbed to the recent trend of reunions, but that is exactly what this is." Similarly, Clash commented that the album "plods along with an overproduced pompousness that falls somewhere between boring and annoying," while Mark Davison of No Ripcord noted that "for all the interesting noises that the band have come up with in the studio, the production really doesn't do them any favours, cramming them into a fairly narrow space and stripping them almost entirely of any sense of atmosphere," before summarizing, "it's all enjoyable, and will probably go down better than their last two releases (other than the production, which renders every buzzing guitar about as powerful as a wasp rattling around inside a tin-can.)"
In the United States, Not Your Kind of People was released exclusively through iTunes during its first week, and debuted at number seventeen on the Billboard 200 with digital sales of over 19,000 copies. On its second week, the album rose to number thirteen with sales of over 22,000 copies. In the United Kingdom, the album was on course for a top five debut, after the BBC midweek chart predicted an entry position of number five, it instead became the band's fifth top ten studio album when it entered at number ten with first-week sales of 8,310 copies. The album also debuted at number thirty-three on the Japanese Oricon chart, selling 1,983 copies.
All songs written and composed by Garbage.
|1.||"Automatic Systematic Habit"||3:18|
|2.||"Big Bright World"||3:35|
|3.||"Blood for Poppies"||3:38|
|5.||"Not Your Kind of People"||4:57|
|7.||"I Hate Love"||3:54|
|9.||"Battle in Me"||4:14|
|10.||"Man on a Wire"||3:07|
|Deluxe edition bonus tracks|
|13.||"What Girls Are Made Of"||3:47|
|Japanese deluxe edition bonus tracks|
|13.||"What Girls Are Made Of"||3:47|
|14.||"Love Like Suicide"||3:49|
- Sample credits
- "Big Bright World" contains a lyrical sample from the poem "Do not go gentle into that good night" by Dylan Thomas.
- "Beloved Freak" contains a sample from "Valentine's Day" by Klaus Nomi.
Credits adapted from the liner notes of the deluxe edition of Not Your Kind of People.
|Australia and New Zealand||May 11, 2012||STUNVOLUME||Liberator Music||CD, digital download (standard, deluxe),
|Asia, Europe, and Latin America||May 14, 2012||Cooperative Music|
|United States||May 15, 2012||Fontana|
|Japan||May 16, 2012||Sony Music||CD, digital download (deluxe)|
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Recording musical saw on Sugar with Finland's Irina Björklund. Sounds amazing!
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Our 11 year old session player really knocked it out of the park on " Not Your Kind of People".........
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ound the alarm: This crunchy electro-rock record might just turn out to be my favorite pop album of the year.
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