Yesterday was a holiday for the gothic-industrial rock world. Marilyn Manson released Born Villain, the absolutely irreverent, diabolical, and raunchy set of new jams. The album is just over an hour containing a mixed bag of volatile vocals, demonic sounds and a couple songs that fall short of Manson’s antiglorious persona. The album isn’t revolutionary, but is undeniably Manson through and through.
So here is a song-by-song review of the albums highest point and missed marks.
#1 “Hey, Cruel World…” begins the album with the usual recipe. Begin blending harmony and distortion, add some blasphemy, and then apply ample terrifying amounts of anger. Exactly what you’d expect to hear from Manson even three years later. Hey, Cruel World… Tour is still on going.
#2 “No Reflection” is the comeback single released in March. A truly great tune with some death metal influence while retaining its classic Manson-ness. The lyrical play-on-words express how clever the band can be even through such depravity. “No Reflection” also has a music video complete with witchcraft, destruction, and creepy bleeding women.
#3 “Pistol Whipped” is probably one of the funnest songs on the album, as revolting as that may seem. The song’s violent and subliminally sexual themes are easy to beebop your headphones to.
#4 “Overneath the Path of Misery” opens with a strangely mesmerizing intro before crashing you out of the trance with unrelenting industrial riffs. The song has enough allusions to classical literature to cause the more heady listener to dive into the deeper meanings ad nauseum. With so much wicked emotion and rage packed vocals, there is more than enough hate to love here.
#5 “Slo-Mo-Tion” is exactly what it says it is; a slow motion song with emphasis on the lyrics. Very similar to Mechanical Animals. It also may be good for the casual listener who may not like the rash and brash screaming of Manson’s other music.
#6 “The Gardener” is an interesting song. It is mostly spoken word with exception of the chorus. The lyrics sound more like an angsty teen’s poetry: “I’m not man enough to be human, but I’m trying to fit in, and I’m learning to fake it.” The palpable Manson themes of empty social interaction and individuality pervade the poetry though. It is a caustic reflection about how faking it will stop personal growth. A very different style than the rest of the album, but good none the less.
#7 “The Flowers of Evil” has a catchy chorus and a speedy background guitar. A feel good goth song about zombies, or vampires, or whatever nightmare creature Manson’s mind conjured from the grave.
#8 “Children of Cain” has the best lyrics on the new album. Darkwave tones sinks deep into your eardrums while Manson chokes out blasphemous lyrics. “Watching monkey suicide, Sundays AIDS and church wine wash it away”. Here is the anger every Manson fan has been waiting for. This song is the villainous resurrection of Antichrist Superstar almost 15 years ago.
#9 “Disengaged” cranks up the distortion. Turn this song up and fill your anger while yelling “It was regret, not an apology”. Overall, a strong four out of five for this song.
#10 “Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms” is missing so much. Whether or not you agree with Manson’s views, he has always been a type of social reformer through his controversial music. This song is just too blatant on theme, not to mention far too close to generic rock. The raspy power cords and bland lyrics could be performed by any rock band on any popular alternative rock station. Definitely more should be expected from the industrial artist.
#11 “Murders Are Getting Prettier Every Day” Its time to beat the hell out of your ear drums. Screeching and squealing police sirens mix with the sound of tortured guitar riffs and powerful drumming. This song gives new meaning to the word cacophony. This track has all the energy Manson fans have kept pent up for the past three years. You can completely empty your lung crying out the lyrics. Three words, Manson is back.
#12 “Born Villain” is that beautiful feel-bad music which has made the artist so popular. Slow and almost acoustic notes open the track. This type of dark sound just sinks right into the listener. “I don’t ever want god to hear our screams, and mistake them for prayers.” There is a much cleaner method to this track than typical of Manson’s discography. “Born Villain” is an appropriate namesake to carry on Manson’s career.
#13 “Breaking the Same Old Ground” is one of the album’s best tracks. The mournful guitar playing background and the hypnotic whispering gives a very vintage Manson feel. The title itself “Breaking the Same Old Ground” almost gives a sense of Manson reflecting on his own work. This self-questioning through killer new tunes has always been a strong backbone for an artist who defies convention. Slightly reminiscent to “This Is The New S***” and the lyrics “Do we need it? No! Do we want it? Yeah!” This track is a reason to keep loving Manson.
#14 “You’re So Vain” features Johnny Depp believe it or not. Manson takes and twist the popular 1970’s pop song. Manson has long been known for his dark regurgitating of cover songs with a complete new emotion, for example “Halloween” from the Disney movie Nightmare Before Christmas or the ever popular “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics. Manson’s “You’re So Vain” is regrettably missing the unmatched genre splicing of his past cover songs. Johnny Depp barely makes any difference in the track and the clear marketing technique for his new movie Dark Shadows, cannot be ignored.
Overall the album is a good addition to Manson’s 7 other studio albums. The band could have taken the musical composition further and some tracks were lacking in creativity. But Born Villain is a good album for any fans industrial collection.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 at 3:39 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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