Single Review: Garbage “Why Do You Love Me”

Why Do You Love Me?
Album: Bleed Like Me
Year: 2005

Shirley Manson questions her husband’s reason for being with her in the punchy “Why Do You Love Me?”

Commanding guitars open the single. It leads into Manson’s matter-of-fact delivery and self-assured instrumentation. She says she’s not an FHM girl or submissive woman. She’s not the innocent woman and unworthy of the pedestal her husband has put her on. She’s stepped on some toes and has regrets. She can be quite rude and intolerant, according to the press. She doesn’t bow down to her husband or stick to old-fashioned traditions. She’s a modern woman who’s rough around the edges. (“I’m no barbie doll/I’m not your baby girl/I’ve done ugly things and I have made mistakesAnd I am not as pretty as those girls in magazines/I am rotten to my core if they’re to be believed/So what if I’m no baby bird hanging upon your every word?/Nothing ever smells of roses that rises out of mud.”)

The tone changes from unflappable to panicked in the chorus. So what is it about her that makes her stand out among the typical beautiful woman? Why did he choose her to be his wife? (“Why do you love me/Why do you love me/Why do you love me, it’s driving me crazy/Why do you love me/Why do you love me/Why do you love me, it’s driving me crazy/Why do you love me/Why do you love me/Why do you love me, it’s driving me crazy/Why do you love me/Why do you love me.”) The last two “why do you love me?” are sung with a twinge of desperation. The tempo slows down nearly a notch as the opening riff accompanies her.

After the opening riff is repeated, the second verse starts. Manson says he’s experienced and she’s not the first woman he ever dated. He’s taken aback by what she’s revealed about herself. Her husband is tired of her being touchy about her past. She’s tired of his pretending that he’s okay with it. She’s been wanting to tell him everything about her past but for a while. However, it’s only now that she’s had the courage to do so. Her past haunts her, causing her to feel troubled and alone. It’s her mistakes who made her who she is. And that’s the person her husband loves. (“You’re not some little boy/Why you acting so surprised/You’re sick of all the rules/Well I’m sick of all your lies/Now I’ve held back a wealth of s***, I think I’m gonna choke/I’m standing in the shadows with the words stuck in my throat/Does it really come as a surprise when I tell you I don’t feel good?/Nothing ever came from nothing man/Oh man, ain’t that the truth.”)

In the chorus, she adds she continues to make the same mistakes despite efforts not to do so. (“I get back up and I do it again/I get back up and I do it again/I get back up and I do it again/I get back up and I do it, I do it again.”)

The tone changes again for the bridge. A sole quiet guitar accompanies her, as though she’s signaling defeat. She thinks she’s not good enough. Manson suspects he’s cheating on her with a friend of hers purely on her instinct. Her husband is handsome and clean-cut. Why does want to be with someone like her? (“I think you’re sleeping with a friend of mine/I have no proof but I think that I’m right/And you’ve still got the most beautiful face/It just makes me sad most of the time.”)

She sings the “I get back up and I do it again” four times. Then, three times with only “do it again.”

The chorus ends the single.

The appealing “Why Do You Love Me” finds Garbage returning to their original sound. However, it’s tweaked just a tad. Their sound is bit polished than Version 2.0. Instead of overhauling their sound completely like the abysmal “beautifulgarbage” album, they have combined elements of both old and new albums.


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