One of the more positive things about the last couple years, especially during the height of the pandemic, was that during that time, I went on some really great catalog deep dives. There were quite a few bands I did this with and the end result was rather positive. One of the bands that I went down the rabbit hole with was Garbage. I still remember going to the store to buy their first album when it came out as well as the second one. Both of those albums were in constant rotation back in the day for me. Now after going through all their albums and then some, I have come up with a pretty solid ranking of their albums. If you’ve never delved into the Garbage catalog, I strongly suggest you do. They have some absolutely great albums and songs. Plus, their evolution throughout the years has made their music intriguing and reinvigorating to the genre.
07) Bleed Like Me: This one gets the bottom not because it’s a bad album by any means, it’s just that it’s a very front loaded album that when you get to the halfway point, a lot of the songs fall into familiar territory. The album feels like it’s trying to recapture a feeling or time but in the end it just falls a bit flat.
06) Beautiful Garbage: This album is a bit of a departure for the band only in that it doesn’t embrace a particular sound or style. Instead it’s a more experimental album, that finds the band looking to expand upon their sound. At times there are songs that are more “pop” than alternative, and other times you will find songs that are more aligned with an R&B style. This album for me is one of those that has to be listened to under the right circumstances. Put it this way, if you were really into the first 2 albums, this one leaves you a little bit more on the side of “it’s not bad but, it’s not what you thought it would or could be.”
05) Not Your Kind Of People: This album was the bands first in about 7 years after Bleed Like Me. This album is a sort of return to form for the band with some new modern production elements added. It’s a very solid album though it drags a bit as there could have been a couple songs cut off. As a comeback album, this is quite good and worth a good listen. I wouldn’t be shocked that if I did an album rank revisited on Garbage in a year or so, this one could move up a notch or two.
04) No Gods No Masters: Their most recent album is an absolute blast of a listen. It explores a lot of ground without being a nostalgic trip. The lyrical content on this album is quite thought provoking as well. You could even say that this is a very mature album both in the thematic sense as well as musically. After 7 albums together, they know what works best and doesn’t and it shows on this album very well. I really enjoyed this album and keep finding new things to like with each listen.
03) Strange Little Birds: The first time I heard this album all the way through, I felt like this was a sort of sequel or logical follow up to the band’s first 2 albums. There’s a really cool element of mixing the old with the new on this album. Strange Little Birds is a rather deep album lyrically and compelling. The album has some really catchy moments just like the first 2 have. There’s also an anger to this album that you can hear musically as well that really compliments every component well. Each time I listen to this album especially the final song “Amends,” I feel compelled to start it again.
02) Garbage: The debut and the one that started it all. What a superb debut album. It’s got all the great things that made music in the 90’s such a game changer. I love this album and think it’s one of the quintessential debut albums of all time. There is no doubt about the quality of the album from the songs, production, and performances. I also believe that this album became a blueprint for a lot of other bands/artists that have come out since.
01) Version 2.0: The band’s second album and my personal favorite gets the top spot. This one adds to their superb start and goes even further into what they are capable of. The darker elements, especially the lyrical content is quite a trip. Musically, there is so much to discover on this album as the band pulled inspiration from bands from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. One of the things I love most about the album is the production on it. There’s a really cool Hi-Fi meets Lo-Fi compliment to the way the instruments sound as well as the vocals. This is one of those second albums, that (like myself) you might enjoy more than the first one. That’s not to say the first one isn’t the tops, it’s all a matter of preference.