Marilyn Manson
Born Villain


3.5
great

Review

by Simon STAFF
October 3rd, 2014 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Trying to find his footing again.

For the select few artists in history that break almost every ground in their field of music, the type of artist that has said and done everything with minimal effort, tend to reach that dangerous junction in their career where they have to ask themselves if they want to continue writing music for the love of it or just for the financial sake of it. Adding more pressure, they run the risk of ruining a respectable reputation they have built.
Marilyn Manson most certainly falls into this category.

I tend to look at Manson's career in 4 sections: the pre-trilogy material such as Smells like Children; the trilogy (debatably his finest works); then The Golden Age of Grotesque which I consider the breather album that is enjoyed on its own; the last section of his career are his last three albums which completely stray away from the conventions you know Manson for: they are a lot more stripped down, lacking the industrial elements and going a lot more straight edge rock. Basically a large experiment of what works and what doesn't, and many would agree it's been hit and miss.

As the years have gone on many have questioned whether Manson is still really relevant in this day and age, losing both concept and lyrical intelligence. The steady decline in quality has certainly backed the question up.

So with 2012's 'Born Villain' the main question that should be asked is why should you, the listener, bother checking this out? As I see this as a continuation of the sound Manson has been trying to craft, Born Villain is the most complete and cohesive effort out of the three albums. The most obvious thing about Born Villain is the production, which takes a very simplistic approach to the music. It feels stripped back, almost naked, as opposed to the heavy, full and fat sound you’re used to in previous records. The album once again sees the return of fan favourite Twiggy back in the song writing seat with Manson.

The album is chock full of cool grooves. You notice a certain structure they use quite a lot in Born Villain, which is the bass driving the song with drums locked in tight with guitar taking a backseat. Songs like ‘The Flowers of Evil’ and ‘The Gardener’ use this trick very effectively and it’s hard not to tap a foot while Manson sings. It definitely brings fresh excitement to Manson’s sound. While ‘Children of Cain’ and ‘Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms’ build up to a great chorus where Manson’s vocals shine.

The downsides to Born Villain really fall on the generic riff writing, which, while all the songs are solid at the least, you’ll have heard the structures and styles a million times before. Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms has a great chorus, but the opening riff that is played through most of the song sounds like it came straight out the Alice in Chains band camp. Further obvious influences fall under 70’s rock like Iggy Pop/The Stooges.

The real shame of the album though is the experimental build up type parts that very subtly creep into songs like Children of Cain and sound brilliant, the downfall is that these parts are never fully executed properly and end up effecting the flow of the song a little bit and leaving you wishing their was more of it. It could have really been the fresh injection Manson needs.

This is also the album that brings Manson’s anger back in a sense. ‘Murderers Are Getting Prettier Everyday’ is reminiscent of Antichrist Superstar and for the most part, Manson sounds like he is really putting all heart and effort into this record. Lyrics are still a colossal failure compared to, say, Holy Wood, but it’s also probably the strongest effort since Holy Wood too. There is the odd cheesy lyric, but for the most part they’re good.

It would be unfair to compare Born Villain to the first half of his career, but compared to anything he’s done in recent years this is his most consistent effort. Taking the best parts from the last two records to make this album. It’s not perfect, but a very solid and enjoyable listen.

It’ll be interesting to see where he takes his next sonic venture.

Well Worth Checking.



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user ratings (578)
3
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2014


15648 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haven't been on here for a while. Moved house and went to Germany. So here's a review to make up for my silence.



As always constructive critisism welcome, guys.



I do enjoy the bass driven stuff on this.

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2014


15648 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers man.



Yeah, his career has nose dived somewhat.

Veldin
October 4th 2014


3873 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pos'd. Next album is blues influenced or something. hmm

Veldin
October 4th 2014


3873 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

*double post* So here's a pic of Depp and Manson tokin it up

http://www.celebstoner.com/assets/images/pages/2013/csnews11/JohnnyDeppMM.jpg

artiswar
October 4th 2014


9268 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The second paragraph is so on the money, have a pos.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2014


15648 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers guys.



Yeah, though I find the collab with Depp pretty cool, the actually song they do together was pretty weak imo.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2014


11733 Comments


great review man, pos'd. "lacking the industrial elements" not a fan of industrial so i might like those last three, might give this album a listen and find out if I dig.

Mercy
October 4th 2014


225 Comments


This is a solid album, his best in years. I'm really looking forward to a new one.

Tunaboy45
October 5th 2014


16784 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, better than mine. Pos!

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2014


15648 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers tuna! Means a lot

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2015


18724 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Only a few songs in the second half do anything for me, the rest sounds pretty unoriginal and generic.

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

thacoconut94
January 4th 2015


1497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lay down your goddamn arms and born villain are both in the second half and are both the premium songs

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2015


18724 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

and murderers, those are by far the best rest is pretty meh

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2015


15648 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed acoconut.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2015


15648 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I find the riffing on High End so much more dull though. But I do agree with what you're saying Talons.

Tunaboy45
January 4th 2015


16784 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's like a stranger had a key, came inside my mind

DoctorDoom
January 4th 2015


2987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Love his 90's and early 00's work but I can't get into this for the life of me.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2015


18724 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pale Emperor is a definite improvement

DoctorDoom
January 5th 2015


2987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Still need to check that out.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2015


15648 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pale Emperor kick ass.



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