Marilyn Manson’s Born Villain is an interesting addition to his discography. While I couldn’t really plunge into his last couple of albums, I was excited to hear that Born Villain was dropping on May 1, 2012.
My first reaction was “wow, this is almost … danceable.” This was quickly corrected as the industrial death metal commenced. However, Manson does have a special way with head-nodders, foot-tappers, and thrash-dancers alike, and many of the songs on the album glisten with a few bars of dance beats amongst the heavy riffs. Lyrically, the album is a literary dream full of repetition, allusions, metaphors, and clever word play. I strongly suggest reading the lyrics during one of your listens … it adds a whole new level of meaning to the songs.
CREATOR: “No Reflection” is the stand out single – a struggle of self worth and identity,“I don’t know which me that I love/I’ve got no reflection,” suggests that the ‘you’ you see yourself as is perhaps not the one you are familiar with and may be unpredictable.
PRESERVER: “Overneath the Path of Misery” opens with Manson reciting a William Shakespeare verse in a strained whisper. The song is littered with literary allusions of tragic and violent characters.
DESTROYER: “The Gardener” is a mesmerizing chant that creates a more tangible image of trying to fit into a world we are each seemingly tossed into and expected to grow in: “you are no longer the flower/and the sun/and most importantly the garden/or the gardener.” The experience is out of our hands.
The bonus track is not to be ignored either. If you haven’t heard it, listen to it. Marilyn Manson successfully covers another 1970s song and makes it seductive and unbelievably listenable. “You’re So Vain” even features Johnny Depp on guitar. I mean, seriously, this song could not be any sexier.
Overall, I give Marilyn Manson a “yea” on his album, but it still lacks the raw shock and angst of Antichrist Superstar and Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death).