Perhaps a near-miss breakup is exactly what Garbage needed. Bleed Like Me plays like a distillation of the group's strengths: The riffs arrive skillet-fried and huge, and the ballads burn with a soulfulness that sounds like the best Motown covers the Runaways never did. "Bad Boyfriend" has a mudslide density to the guitar slabs that Shirley Manson barely manages to snake her trademark snarl through. Although Garbage has always been a wily borrower, even the lacy violins that weave throughout the dance blast of "Metal Heart" sound wholly owned. Fans will be more than sated by a record that sounds like a "Best Of," and haters should relent and enjoy the ballsy bloodletting.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.