Review Summary: Another great release from Manson!1 of 3 thought this review was well written
Marilyn Manson is one of the artists I grew up listening to (especially Holy Wood), at first because it was heavy enough, but afterward because it was just good music. The High End of Low was one of my favorite albums of 2009, and was the album that got me listening to him again. I know many people didn't like the new sound of Manson, but I really enjoyed it. When I heard he was releasing another album, I just couldn't wait. Every time he released news or some samples of the song, it got me longing for the release. I haven't enjoyed all of his previous work so I really hoped this one would be good. And this is exactly what it was.
Manson's world is very dark, he even says he makes “Suicide Death Metal”. Now you would think the whole album is depressing but you are mistaken. It is also very energetic, making you head-bang lots of time whether it is Twiggy's hard driven riffs or his bass playing. You can actually divide the album in two very distinguished type of songs: first category has songs always starting on electronic drums, then Manson comes in and it goes into a metal chorus, then repeat step one and on. Actually those songs get boring after a few listen excepted for a few. Category two is those industrial metal songs that got Manson known worldwide.
The opener Hey Cruel World is one of the first categorize songs that you'll actually enjoy a lot. The chorus riff is very energetic, Manson gives a great voice performance. I actually hoped the album sounded like that. Then goes the single No Reflections and Pistol Whipped which are my favorite of category one songs along with The Gardener. One of the downside of this LP is that you actually get bored around the middle of it (Slo-Mo-Tion did it for me) and I almost stopped listening to the LP. But thank god I didn't, because I would have missed the awesome Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms, one of my favorite song from this album. From this song onward it is all great. Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day sounds a lot like a flashback into his earlier style from Mechanical Animal or Antichrist Superstar. The LP ends on two “Manson” metal ballads and another “Manson” rock song. All three of them are very good, the clean guitar riff of Born Villain is very enjoyable, the vocal performance of Breaking the Same Old Ground is great and the closing You're So Vain is another good song from Manson.
All throughout the album, the keyboards, guitar, drum and bass are all very enjoyable. Each one has a few memorable riffs, whether it is Twiggy playing guitar and bass or Chris Vrenna playing the keyboard and percussion. Manson actually played a few riffs here and there and Johnny Depp is featured on You're So Vain (when he's not a pirate).
This album is very enjoyable, it isn't better than his previous release, just different. Manson still has lots of things to say and lots of music to make and to be honest, I'm already looking forward to his next release hoping it will be at least as good as this one. Songs you should check out are: Hey Cruel World, No Reflections, Pistol Whipped, The Gardener, Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms, Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day , Born Villain , Breaking the Same Old Ground , You're So Vain (featuring Johnny Depp!!).
Marilyn Manson was:
M. Manson – vocals, lyrics, guitars, production, engineering, art direction, design
Twiggy – guitars, bass guitar, keyboards
Chris Vrenna – keyboards, synthesizers, programming, percussion, engineering
Fred Sablan – bass guitar, guitars
Jason Sutter – live drums on the tour for Born Villain, drums