Single Review: Garbage “The World Is Not Enough”

The World Is Not Enough
Album: The World Is Not Enough Soundtrack
Year: 1999

In the 19th Bond movie “The World Is Not Enough,” British oil tycoon Sir Robert King is killed by Renard. James Bond is hired to protect Elektra, King’s daughter. Along the way, things blow up, Bond has sex with Elektra and a nuclear physicist named Christmas Jones, M gets kidnapped, and twists are revealed.

Lead singer, Shirley Manson, sings from Elektra’s point of view in the bewitching “The World Is Not Enough.”

Elegant strings begin the single, setting an opulent and swanky tone. The strings fade into moody and sneaky guitars and bass. Manson says she is able to injure someone and then nurse their wounds. She is able to read people easily, knowing when to hide or confess her emotions. She is able to manipulate people by discussing a topic knowledgably or pretending to be shy. She knows the perfect moment to grab a man’s attention and how to keep it. She wants everything – buisnesses, land, and people – to all be hers.(“I know how to hurt/I know how to heal/I know what to show/And what to conceal/I know when to talk/And I know when to touch/No one ever died from wanting too much.”)

The strings surge as an impertubable Manson says that she wants to control every planet and being. To rule the world is not enough to satsify her need for power. (“The world is not enough/
But it is such a perfect place to start…my love/And if you’re strong enough/Together we can take the world apart…my love.”)

She comments that she and Bond are similar. They can escape death-defying situations and live for the thrill of almost dying. They take pleasure in the sex and violence of their lives. They aim to have everything and risk others not having it. (“People like us/Know how to survive/There’s no point in living/If you can’t feel the life/We know when to kiss/And we know when to kill/If we can’t have it all/Then nobody will.”)

In the bridge, she finally lets Bond in on her feelings regarding taking over the world. She’s mostly consumed with power and confident. But a part of her is fearful of what it means. She has plans but is uncertain on how to implement them. However, it still seems like she’s playing Bond in her twisted game. “(I…)I feel safe/(I…)I feel scared/(I…)I feel ready/(I…)And yet unprepared.”)

The single ends with a power-hungry Manson declaring that “the world is not enough…nowhere near enough.”

In the urbane “The World Is Not Enough,” Manson is human and not the least bit cartoonish. Although her character is inherently evil, Manson treats her as an ambitious woman whose far-reaching dreams seem frightening possible. Manson plays her as the woman someone would least expect as the villianess. She’s polite, sharp, and respected in the community. She hosts charity luncheons. As she gives the mayor of the city a glass of expensive wine, she’s thinking of how she can slit his throat when no one is looking.


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