Charles Manson
Lie


2.5
average

Review

by username345 USER (52 Reviews)
August 21st, 2008 | 53 replies


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A decent folk album with a haunting melancholic mood but also quite a lot of filler.

Charles Manson is obviously known more for his murders than for his music, so it is hard to be objective when listening to ‘Lie’. While many people instantly disregard it as just a collection of poor folk songs with only novelty worth, others claim that Manson could have become famous as a musician had things turned out differently - Neil Young and Dennis Wilson themselves were both fans of his music before he gained the notoriety. The Beach Boys actually went as far as recording a Manson song, ‘Cease to Exist’ with slightly altered lyrics, as ‘Never Learn Not To Love’.

‘Lie’ contains a mixture of folk and psychedelia, but with most of the emphasis on the folk side. Many of the songs feature just Manson and his acoustic guitar, though occasionally other instruments such as sitar and flute appear, giving the album it’s psychedelic/acid folk feel. When percussion is introduced it is light and stays in the background, putting most of the focus on Manson and his guitar playing. Backing vocals are occasionally provided by members of the Manson family.

Manson’s guitar playing is very simplistic, with him often playing doing little more than repeatedly strumming a few simple chords. Despite this simple approach he does manage to create some nice melodies and hooks, and it gives the album it’s moody atmosphere. It doesn’t always work well however. While songs like ‘Look At Your Game, Girl’ have strong catchy hooks that drive them forward, sometimes the overly-sparse playing style gets slightly tedious and boring, and there are a number of filler tracks in the middle of the album. Even at only just over 30 minutes long, it is quite easy to get bored of the album quickly.

Manson himself is definitely a very good vocalist. The singing has a warm and pleasant tone, and a slightly haunting quality that fits right in with the lo-fi melancholic mood of the music perfectly. Many of the lyrics are delivered spoken word, but the parts where Manson is singing work the best. His lyrics which are on the topics of society and ironically ‘peace and love’ are decent, if sometimes slightly simplistic.

‘Lie’ also contains a number of more experimental psychedelic songs. Some of these work well, like the truly bizarre ‘Mechanical Man’ with it’s strange mumbling backing vocals, frantic sitar, and odd lyrics and the dark and gloomy ‘Ego’. These songs give the album more variety and keeping it interesting, but mostly the experiments do not work so well and end up breaking the flow of the album unnecessarily. Many of the songs in the middle of the album are little more than boring spoken word sections, but as they’re so short it doesn’t become as much of a problem as it could be.

So is ‘Lie’ more than just being a simple gimmick? The truth is, if you were to play it, or at least some of the better tracks, to people without saying who the singer is they’d probably like it. Then you can tell them who they’ve been listening to and watch them grimace in disgust. While a pleasant listen though, apart from a select few songs, it’s nothing really special and little more than a nice folk album.



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user ratings (46)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Polaris
August 21st 2008


246 Comments


Don't Do Anything Illegal


lovin that irony

username345
August 21st 2008


594 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

'People Say I'm No Good' is great too :D

Bleak123
August 21st 2008


1902 Comments


It's funny how many people have forgotten or have never known who Charles Manson is :/

SHOOTME
August 21st 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

who?

Bleak123
August 21st 2008


1902 Comments


lolz

SHOOTME
August 21st 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah i kid i kid.

good review.

Doppelganger
August 21st 2008


3124 Comments


I didn't even know this existed. I must hear.

Edgecrusher
August 21st 2008


137 Comments


Charles Manson is our savior!! only he can bring us freedom!!! vote Hillary!!

botb
August 21st 2008


9721 Comments


i would never be able to listen to this without feeling sadistic to be honest.

Crudo
August 21st 2008


31 Comments


yeah but you're a tool

botb
August 21st 2008


9721 Comments


maybe, but i'm not a sadistic tool!

McP3000
August 21st 2008


3941 Comments


this is easily the greatest album cover ever

botb
August 21st 2008


9721 Comments


^^^hahaha it really is.

Poet
August 21st 2008


5935 Comments


holy crap, I had no clue Manson was a musician.

Bleak123
August 21st 2008


1902 Comments


yeah manson and the family used to be very musical. Guns n roses actually covered one of his songs on the spaghetti incidentThis Message Edited On 08.21.08

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 21st 2008


3742 Comments


I've always wanted to check this out.

username345
August 22nd 2008


594 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah manson and the family used to be very musical. Guns n roses actually covered one of his songs on the spaghetti incident


Yeah, they covered 'Look At Your Game Girl'. Or at least Axl Rose did, most of the others were against covering it I think so didn't record it with him.

Manson's version is actually a lot better.This Message Edited On 08.22.08

Crudo
August 23rd 2008


31 Comments


he had a good voice

marksellsuswallets
August 23rd 2008


4848 Comments


Manson is giving me the bedroom eyes....

combustion07
June 22nd 2009


5376 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've always wanted to check this out, I finally did today and i actually like it quite a bit.



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