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Strange Little Birds Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sixth full-length release for the alternative rock band led by Shirley Manson was produced by Billy Bush.
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Top Track

Empty
I've been feeling so frustrated I'll never be as great as I want to be Everyone that I run into The ones you always seem so into What's wrong with... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Jun 10, 2016
    91
    20-plus years after forming, each band member is still fired up to mine new sounds and approaches for inspiration. That willingness to be uncomfortable and look beneath the surface makes Strange Little Birds a rousing success.
  2. Strange Little Birds is a record that’s human to its very core, revelling in flaws and failures, but never losing hope. And in that way, it’s the perfect mirror for its creators’ 22-year career.
  3. Jun 17, 2016
    80
    It successfully excavates old and gorgeous Garbage: digs it up, dusts it off, reassembles it, and lovingly crafts replacements, piece by vivid piece, for the strange little sounds that have rotted away.
  4. 70
    Even though structurally Strange Little Birds evokes the band’s early work, it’s clear there’s mellowness afoot.
  5. Jun 22, 2016
    70
    The left-field pop of Nineties hits like "#1 Crush" has been pulled back, but that's fine. What's left is an august, hardboiled vitality.
  6. Jun 13, 2016
    60
    There's plenty of material worth diving into on this album, but the results could have been much, much stronger.
  7. Jun 13, 2016
    40
    There’s plenty of build--see the coiling, gothic tension of Blackout – but little release, and a lack of those big, punchy choruses that were their strongest suit. Only Empty and So We Can Stay Alive hit old heights, and not hard enough.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Jun 13, 2016
    10
    I can't believe they came back from the shadows and siphoned me back into the 90s. Beautifully produced, and absolutely nostalgic to the T.I can't believe they came back from the shadows and siphoned me back into the 90s. Beautifully produced, and absolutely nostalgic to the T. Love this album. Expand
  2. Jun 21, 2016
    10
    WOW! A true return to form for Garbage. This is their strongest and most cohesive effort since "Version 2.0". Every song on this record is aWOW! A true return to form for Garbage. This is their strongest and most cohesive effort since "Version 2.0". Every song on this record is a sonic delight and I was blown away by the complex and layered sound landscapes created by the band. Atmospheric, cinematic and brilliant in so many ways. I'm in love with this band all over again. Expand
  3. Aug 19, 2016
    9
    Twenty-two years later and this bunch are still very much distinguishable in a trade tarnished with posers.

    In a day and age when
    Twenty-two years later and this bunch are still very much distinguishable in a trade tarnished with posers.

    In a day and age when alt-rock's authenticity is doubted, Garbage create no such incertainty by treating us to mordant guitar crunch and instinctive vocals in a repertoire of tunes which will induce a pleasant flashback to 1995 for many fans.

    Manson's assertive (if not diaristic) lyrics invite the listener to take a nosedive into her sea of insecurity, channeled through innovative noise constructed by the minds who churned out 'Vow' and 'Queer'.

    Supreme songs are 'Empty', 'Blackout' and 'So We Can Stay Alive'.
    Expand
  4. Jun 10, 2016
    9
    Amazingly after 21 years in the business Garbage manages to release an album that is fresh and characteristically dark and experimental.Amazingly after 21 years in the business Garbage manages to release an album that is fresh and characteristically dark and experimental. Strange Little Birds is their best album since their debut, projecting sorrow and longing yet still remaining fascinating. Download: The whole album! Expand
  5. Jun 10, 2016
    8
    An interesting combination of love songs, yet the old and pure Garbage gloom mixed up with a sexy spice à la Portishead: "Strange LittleAn interesting combination of love songs, yet the old and pure Garbage gloom mixed up with a sexy spice à la Portishead: "Strange Little Birds" sounds like a breathe of fresh air for those who may feel nostalgic about past decades. "Empty", wisely chosen as the lead single of this new album takes us back to the 90s Garbage and they go way further with The Cure inspired "Blackout" and "Night Drive Loneliness", which sums up how gold this album is. Expand
  6. Jun 10, 2016
    8
    Fantastic...easily their best in years. It's poignant, detailed, pensive, personal, atmospheric, sonic, and so much more. "So We Can StayFantastic...easily their best in years. It's poignant, detailed, pensive, personal, atmospheric, sonic, and so much more. "So We Can Stay Alive" is one of the best songs they have ever done. Long live Garbage for another 20 years please. Shirley Manson and company are in no way done with us yet! Expand
  7. Jun 16, 2016
    7
    pretty good album with a mix of dark and the usual garbage style. the main single empty i would say is one of the weakest tracks on the album.pretty good album with a mix of dark and the usual garbage style. the main single empty i would say is one of the weakest tracks on the album. the first song also sounds like a portishead rip off but in a good way. Expand

See all 11 User Reviews