Garbage's angry, emotional lyrics contrasted with their catchy, pop alternative rock music. This made the band particularly popular with disaffected youths. Garbage utilizes samples, electronic loops, grungy guitars, and various other effects to produce haunting and melodic tracks, made distinctive by Scottish singer Shirley Manson's sultry vocals.
Garbage released a string of increasingly-successful singles over the year 1995, culminating in the massive hit "Stupid Girl". They released their debut album, Garbage, later that year. It went top 20 in the US and top 10 in the UK.
Garbage spent two years working on their follow-up album, during which time Shirley Manson became well-known by the technologically savvy by being one of the first artists to maintain a blog. "Push It" was released and became a summer hit in 1998, reaching #9 in the UK and #52 in the US. The sophomore album Version 2.0 topped the charts in the UK and hit #13 in the US.
After again retreating into the studio for several years, Garbage released Beautiful Garbage in 2001. While it represented the band's most eclectic and mature sound to date, it contained no standout commercial singles. Hence, no songs charted in the US, and the four singles released charted in the 20s in the UK. Still, the album managed to reach #4 in the UK and #13 in the US, though it quickly slid down the chart. Garbage followed the album up with a successful tour of the US and Europe.
Garbage's next album is expected in early 2005.