Strange Little Birds

Garbage - Strange Little Birds
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2016 Ratings: #624 / 858
User Score
Based on 91 ratings
2016 Ratings: #480
Liked by 1 person
June 10, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
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A.V. Club

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.

Slant Magazine

Strange Little Birds emerges as the band's most compelling, adventurous album in 15 years.


The impressive thing about Strange Little Birds is how it feels simultaneously familiar and fresh, a record that echoes the past without being trapped by it.

‘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.

Though the LP isn’t as varied or experimental as its predecessor, 2012’s Not Your Kind of People, it is more cohesive and alluring, resulting in a superior collection overall and a strong addition to the Garbage catalog.


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.


On Strange Little Birds, Garbage finally pair the potency of their past with where they are now and sidestep self-parody.

The Line of Best Fit

While Strange Little Birds might not be Garbage’s most immediate release, lyrically it’s certainly their bravest and 20 years into their career, it feels like they’ve entered a new era.

American Songwriter

Existing fans will appreciate the uptick in sheer moodiness and offbeat experimental tendencies matched with fluid, often hypnotic melodies the quartet displays on the majority of Strange Little Birds. Newcomers to the Garbage experience can start here and work themselves backwards through an impressively edgy catalog brimming with more of the same.


With their post-return jitters under control, Garbage have solidified that return with Strange Little Birds, their darkest, most intimate LP and the band’s strongest effort in 15 years.

Rolling Stone
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.

There are a few moments that feel oddly dated or too by-the-numbers, but otherwise, this is an engaging return from the gothic dance-rock four-piece.

Consequence of Sound
From the gorgeous, cohesive production to the effective sonic resurrection of the late ’90s, Garbage pours their heart and soul into the instruments. It’s still not the most original thing in the world, but at least now we know that they’re confidently continuing to choose it for themselves.
No Ripcord

Strange Little Birds is not as triumphant or solid of a record as Not Your Kind Of People. While Garbage still sound hungry and willing to try something new, too many songs don't hold up to their reputation. There's plenty of material worth diving into on this album, but the results could have been much, much stronger.

Under The Radar
It is a regression to the best of Garbage, but a regression nonetheless.
Drowned in Sound

It sounds varyingly like an attempt at a step forward that feels more like a lurch and an exercise in a nostalgia that feels a bit awkward given that they’re echoing sounds that seemed a bit futuristic ten-to-20 years ago.

Sometimes - 10
Empty - 10
Blackout - 10
If I Lost You - 8
Night Drive Loneliness - 10
Even Though Our Love Is Doomed - 9
Magnetized - 10
We Never Tell - 10
So We Can Stay Alive - 10
Teaching Little Fingers To Play - 9
Amends - 10
"Garbage" was a great album. However, I didn't understand why the other albums was so bad.
With SLB, Garbage is correct. There are some catchy songs and great songs like Even Though Our Love is Doomed.

There is a huge problem that's current with Garbage :
SLB sounds like their first production, which is annoying because I'm sick of earing all the time the same thing and sounds like a conventional rock album, which is a weird with Garbage.

Even though, SLB is a cool little album ... read more
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Year End Lists

#14/Slant Magazine

Track List

  1. Sometimes
  2. Empty
  3. Blackout
  4. If I Lost You
  5. Night Drive Loneliness
  6. Even Though Our Love Is Doomed
  7. Magnetized
  8. We Never Tell
  9. So We Can Stay Alive
  10. Teaching Little Fingers To Play
  11. Amends
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Added on: March 10, 2016