Last week, he (and his band of the same name) dropped his eighth studio album, Born Villain, and to put it bluntly: it boasts some of the best MM music in at least a decade. Granted, that isn’t really saying much, considering how uneven Eat Me, Drink Me and The High End of Low were, but this should please even the most disillusioned of fans.
If you dug albums like Holywood and Mechanical Animals, you might want to give this one a try.
The lead single, No Reflection, is pretty solid even if it’s nothing new stylistically, but its video is pretty badass:
Thematically, Born Villain is also a return to form: songs like Pistol Whipped, Overneath the Path of Misery, and The Flowers of Evil let Manson revisit the sinister approaches that made his best albums so memorable.
Slo-Mo-Tion sounds like a b-side from the late 1990s, which in this context is a compliment – it’s throwback Manson, from the fuzzy electro-guitars to the creeping rhythmic approach.
Of course, no Manson record is complete without his signature snarling, moaning and wailing, and on more than one occasion here his voice calls to mind David Bowie, who arguably was the original Manson, at least in terms of musical eccentricity.
Children of Cain, with ominous electric drums and a deliberate, chain-gang pace, provides the foundation for Manson to say things like don’t assume that I’m always with you/It’s just where my mortal body happens to be.
The best (or perhaps most surprising) moment on the album has got to be Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms. Have you ever wondered what it’d sound like if Marilyn Manson did a grunge song? Odds are you haven't, but you get to hear one anyway. It’s sublime – an off-time, Soundgarden-like tempo drives the song, which also features some Kim Thayil-esque guitars. If it sounds weird, it isn’t – it’s just awesome:
If you hadn’t ever expected Marilyn Manson to release anything impressive again, you ought to check out Born Villain. At 43, he probably could (and should, depending on your perspective) have hung up the black eyeliner and weird S&M bondage outfits, but if the result is this solid it might be worth sticking around a bit longer.
Oh, and there’s also bonus track featuring Manson and guest drummer Johnny Depp running through Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain…