Keven's Music Review: MARILYN MANSON – Born Villain
Published: May 14, 2012 - 6:51am
The shock rock icon's eighth studio album reunited Manson with longtime guitarist Twiggy Ramirez and all signs point to a glorious outcome. Think 'Mechanical Animals' but with a lot more whisper chanting and far less intrigue. 'Born Villain' is a failure.
Marilyn Manson's previous record 'The High End of Low' was absolutely stellar. I've found that Manson has a tendency to have ups and downs throughout his long career and unfortunately his latest outing fell flat for me. The vibe I got from most of 'Born Villain' was similar to 2007's 'Eat Me, Drink Me', which I consider Manson's most stale effort to date. Prior to the release, Manson described the sound on his eighth studio record as 'suicide death metal'. Two of those elements were prevalent throughout but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that there is no 'metal' to be found on 'Born Villain'.
The sound that favors Manson best seems to be that fine line between punk, rock and industrial but when he leans too far towards Nine Inch Nails territory the music begins to fade into obscurity. After reuniting with Twiggy I'd have thought 'Born Villain' would be more riff heavy but was surprised to hear much more moody atmospheric drivel along the lines of Joy Division.
The first single 'No Reflection' is a great indicator of where Manson is at right now creatively. So be prepared for a ton of those 'Ahh, ah ah AH!' whisper chants in place of meaningful choruses. You can get away with the 'la la la' s*** every now and then, but basing a song around it and then proceeding to whisper it just ends up sounding pretentious and boring.
Despite my raving dissatisfaction of 'Born Villain', I will proclaim that the bonus track 'You're so Vain', featuring one of Manson's best friends Johnny Depp, is amazing. I five-starred the hell out of that song on my iPod and will blast it repeatedly throughout the rest of 2012 and likely onward. Manson's cover could have been cliché like his rendition of 'Tainted Love', but he instead reinterprets the arrangement and turns out an extremely catchy and memorable hit. I can't recommend the album but I have to praise 'You're so Vain', which is one of the best cover songs I've heard in quite some time.
1. "Hey, Cruel World..."
2. "No Reflection"
3. "Pistol Whipped"
4. "Overneath the Path of Misery"
6. "The Gardener"
7. "The Flowers of Evil"
8. "Children of Cain"
10. "Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms"
11. "Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day"
12. "Born Villain"
13. "Breaking the Same Old Ground"
14. "You're So Vain" (featuring Johnny Depp)