Doofy -
NR
'Strange Little Birds' is really overproduced but is still the band's best effort since 'Beautiful Garbage' - the song's aren't the same quality as the band's '90s output, but at least they sound more comfortable in their own skin and purposeful; plus you feel Manson is invested in her vocals this time.

NR
Doofy -
NR
On 'Not Your Kind of People' it feels like a little more thought has gone into trying to develop a consistent style than its predecessor but it can't totally shake that disposable feel and no song makes a strong impression, NR
Doofy -
NR
'Bleed Like Me' feels awfully forced and unnatural, even Manson is suffering now and a lot of her vocals ring hollow. This is song writing on auto pilot from a collection of slumming producers at this point, NR
Doofy -
NR
It's only when we reach album number three that you start wondering 'contractual obligation?' as the song writing just isn't as sharp and all sense of identity seems to have evaporated outside of the fact that, yes, Shirley's still singing.

She does a decent job in trying to enliven this material and some of the production tricks integrate reasonably well....but the killer realisation is that if you took any track from 'Beautiful Garbage' and placed it on either of the first two albums it ... read more
Doofy -
NR
Surely a second high quality album would prove a challenge too far for this (manufactured?) 'super group'? Incredibly, not so. If anything this second offering boasted increased vitality and a more unified style; here they rock the glossy production, and when the writing sticks these songs really pop.

'Special' boasts one of Manson's most striking vocal performances delivering kiss off put downs to her ex lover; 'Medication' is the band's strongest ballad with a great combo of defeated verses ... read more
Doofy -
73
Garbage (pronounced gah-barge by the cool kids) were one of those rare pop acts who were embraced by the rock press and fans, I guess in a similar way to Blondie were back in the '70s/'80s - in reality this band were about as heavy as Republica. That Shirley Manson could pull off the rock chick style in a similar way to Debbie Harry is maybe the truth behind this crossover appeal, you can't beat a girl who looks great in a leather jacket. Strangely, just the fact Butch Vig had produced ... read more
Doofy -
NR
Not their worst, not their best

NR
Doofy -
41
I'm a little oblivious when it comes to the charms of Little Oblivions
Doofy -
74
As the other reviews here attest, this probably isn’t the best entry point into the huge Tindersticks discog - still, if you’re already acclimatised to their sound then many of the songs here, like the sublime cover of Neil Young’s ‘A Man Needs a Maid’, will resonate deep.

Tindersticks are an acquired taste, but a delicious one 🤤
Doofy -
72
Beach House and Badalamenti?
Doofy -
NR
The band themselves didn't agree that debut effort 'Flood' showed enough promise or reflected their own artistic vision, so a radical revamp was required - 'Despite Yourself' is the result, a love letter to 'The Bends' in particular, an unsubtle attempt to come over as more mature and cultured.

The name 'Headswim' feels less appropriate now, as this is a much less busy sound, perhaps more a 'head swoon' - Daniel Glendining's voice is still well suited to mellower moods and sparser ... read more
Doofy -
NR
On their first album 'Flood' Headswim were one part Brit rock to another of grunge, with just a splash of psychedelia to distinguish themselves from the rest of the herd. The layered approach is indeed quite heady, the splashes of organ the most unique embellishment and perhaps enough to make your mind swim a little.

There are a few outstanding tracks on this debut; 'Dead' had already featured on an early EP but rightfully finds a place here as it's still the band's best song, all powerful ... read more
Doofy -
72
Lands somewhere between the abstract folk’isms of Bon Iver and the relaxed conversational feel of the most recent Eleanor Friedberger album - mellow goodness, an inviting sound but the songs themselves aren’t so striking.
Doofy -
73
You don’t get too many effective daytime chill out electronic albums but this is one.
Doofy -
72
This release has always come across as a weaker version of 'Full Moon Fever' to some degree, and that's what has always held it back for me. The first five or six songs on FMF are all recognised standards pretty much, and that just isn't the case this time.

Still, the album starts strongly with 'Learning to Fly' and the title track in particular, and although the remainder take a little longer to grow on you it's well worth persevering as there's some solid musicianship from the Heartbreakers ... read more
Doofy -
NR
This is such a beloved album and has a few big hits on it, it made a lot of sense at the time of release...but you know what, outside of the six tracks you always remember ('Sure Shot', 'Sabotage', 'Get it Together', 'Root Down', 'Flute Loop', 'Heart Attack Man') the rest is very much 'just ok'.

I'm not so in love with their deliveries that I can just listen to the Beasties rap for tens of minutes over very similar beats and sounds - it isn't as varied or fun as 'Paul's Boutique' me thinks, NR
Doofy -
NR
We reach 'Nine Lives' and Aerosmith are in cruise control, able to knock off (now indisputably) totally out of fashion radio rock that will still appeal to (primarily) listeners of a certain vintage and old school persuasion. The times have changed but why should this band care?

So we get even more heavy handed power ballads plus some attempted mysticism/exotica in places...and nary a tune anyone outside of being a card carrying Aerosmith fan club member would ever really want to listen to ... read more
Doofy -
46
Now was the time to capitalise on their comeback success, and 'Get a Grip' lives up to the pressure - just.

It doesn't help matters that once again there's a slight over reliance on those old power ballads (all packing titles so obvious you know the song before you hear it for the first time - 'Cryin', 'Crazy', 'Amazing', ugh) but on the plus side 'Eat the Rich', 'Get a Grip' and 'Livin on the Edge' are decent enough entries in the 'Smith hard(ish) rockin catalogue.
Doofy -
NR
'Pump' takes the formula of 'Permanent Vacation' and perfects it, with far more varied and consistent song writing, plus those increasingly grabby vocals and lyrics from Tyler.

Finally the big brash arrangements actually make sense with songs as melodically confident as 'The Other Side' and 'Love in an Elevator'. Even 'Janie's Got a Gun' is a different style of ballad, more widescreen and less played out and 'closing credits' soppy.

Despite still being all-out radio/MTV targeted the album ... read more
Doofy -
39
'Done With Mirrors' REALLY tries to shake the band awake but it flips all the way into 'over excitable' territory - Perry is back but it all comes across a bit try hard.

Yes, this in one of those albums that feels like being hit over the head in an attempt to force you into liking every melody rather than letting the listener get there on their own.
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