Song of the Day #1,006: ‘The Trick is to Keep Breathing’ – Garbage

Garbage’s second album, Version 2.0, just missed my recent series on flawless albums. The album sags just the tiniest bit toward the end, mostly because today’s SOTD is such a tough act to follow.

But before that come eight truly excellent tracks, varying stylistically and thematically, that taken as a song cycle match up with just about anything. The band would go on to release two more solid albums before taking a hiatus they’re still on, but nothing they’re produced compares to the opening barrage of this record.

It seems every time I look up a band that hasn’t recorded in years, Wikipedia reveals that they are currently recording their next new album. I’m guessing many of those reports are untrue, because every artist who has been off the radar is always rumored to be just months away from his next big release.

But apparently Garbage has been in the studio and plans a new album release and tour in 2011, six years after their last record. I hope that’s true, because I’ve missed their blend of muscular rock, studio experimentation and sultry vocals. I need more Shirley Manson in my life.

‘The Trick is to Keep Breathing’ is a song Manson wrote for a friend of hers in a destructive relationship. She got the title from a novel with a similar theme. Garbage has always had a knack for ballads, though they don’t record them very often. This is one of their best.

I also love the video for this song, which I just watched for the first time. It’s a concert video, but the footage is dim and impressionistic, perfectly suiting the mood of the song.

She’s not the kind of girl
Who likes to tell the world
About the way she feels about herself
She takes a little time in making up her mind
She doesn’t want to fight against the tide

And lately I’m not the only one
I say never trust anyone

Always the one who has to drag her down
Maybe you’ll get what you want this time around

Can’t bear to face the truth
So sick he cannot move
And when it hurts he takes it out on you

And lately I’m not the only one
I say never trust anyone

Always the one who has to drag her down
Maybe you’ll get what you want this time around

The trick is to keep breathing

She knows the human heart
And how to read the stars
Now everything’s about to fall apart
I won’t be the one who’s going to let you down
Maybe you’ll get what you want this time around
I won’t be the one who’s going to let you down
Maybe you’ll get what you want this time around

The trick is to keep breathing

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,006: ‘The Trick is to Keep Breathing’ – Garbage

  1. Dana says:

    I like this song well enough, but I don’t find it to be anything particularly special. It’s moooy to the point of being just a bit dull. I suppose I’m just not as captivated by this band as you are.

  2. Dana says:

    That should have been moody, not mooy:)

  3. Amy says:

    While the footage is from a live performance, I don’t think the recording is… it’s way too clean and uncluttered.

    Regardless, I really like this song on first listen. I had a knee-jerk response to what kind of music a group named “Garbage” was likely to produce and, therefore, never gave that music much of a chance. I have heard you say positive things about Garbage, and Manson in particular, in the past, so I no longer have that negative perception, but I’m still largely ignorant to their music.

    Today’s song is a great one. Hope the new album doesn’t disappoint.

  4. Clay says:

    You are correct, this is the studio version of the song.

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