Thursday, April 26, 2012

Marilyn Manson : Born Villain

O.k, while I do have a passing interest in Manson, his 09 album " the high end of low " was pretty horrid, the most bland and boring piece of work he could have mustered.So I approach this album wondering what his relevance in  2012 might be , as his brand of industrial alt-rock went the way of the dinosaur in 2003 if we are being generous, " Eat me Drink me" found it's place in the electro-rock niche of bands like the Killers, just with a darker tone and edge. However , on that tour , Manson seemed disinterested to be on stage and the show as a whole dragged.
While not metal" Born Villain" is harder than eat me drink me, though perhaps not as well written. The albums first two songs kick off the proceedings with sleazy beat driven rock, though both punches are thrown with little muscle behind them. The 3rd track "Pistol Whipped" is silly, it sounds like a Peaches b-side. While Twiggy is back in the band, this song makes it obvious Tim Skold's production skills are lacking, and I'm surprised Chris Vrenna let something like this be recorded, but he did co-produce " high end..." .
Things darken up a bit for " Underneath the Path of Misery" a song whose chorus rocks pretty well. Manson's delivery in the verses is not quite convincing. 8 albums in an artist who is not say David Bowie is likely to lose momentum , even Alice Cooper had well ...every thing from ''Trash" on...so we are just living long enough to see the decline of Mr. Manson, but even Coopers "Feed My Frankenstein" has more charge to it's shock rock that some of this. Sure when "Portrait of an American Family " out It was a cross between Faster Pussycat and White Zombie and I was o.k with it as I had been a pretty big W.A.S.P fan at one time.
''The Gardener " though comes across as his "Clones"  and makes me wonder if this is his idea of the Joy Division influence he mentioned in interviews earlier in the year. Its not a bad song, just more Gary Numan than anticipated.The Numan tribute continues to good effect on " Children of Cain" , this seems the direction Manson is best served. Sure even on the albums better moments there's a lot of recycling going on, but Manson has been working off the creepy verse to arena rock chorus formula for some time. This go around due to Twiggy there are lots of thumping bass intros, some times this evolves into something more interesting than others. While this was the case with " high end of low" it's more apparent here that he has nothing to say or desire behind the words he does muster. The disdain in the lyrics of " eat me drink me " carried more emotional weight than the lyrical equivalent of going through the motions.I imagine the " Born Villain" single would be getting any more air play if the label had pushed the  closing cover of " You're so Vain" first.  Though none of these songs are begging to make it from my hard drive to Ipod,  I think  if given the time to grow on me I might be able to round this albums score up to a 6 but as it stand I have to give this a
5.5  only for fans wanting to recapture the feeling of  Middle School.

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