Marilyn Manson
Mechanical Animals


5.0
classic

Review

by Simon CONTRIBUTOR (225 Reviews)
December 1st, 2014 | 37 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The glam, the fame, the drugs.

It's funny how doing the right thing at the right time gets you where you want to be in life. After shaking the goofy “Spooky Kids” tagline attached to the Manson name, creating an image as equally provocative as the music, and writing material that left more than a lasting impression with Antichrist Superstar, in 1996 they created a machine that didn’t just turn heads, it twisted them off the shoulders. By 1998 Marilyn Manson was a household name and whether it was trash talking or praise, the singer was one of the most talked about celebrities of the decade.

So with a platinum album under your belt, how do you follow up on an album that broke you into the mainstream"

Make more of the same"

Do a heavier record"

Try neither, Manson took what you had come to expect from him and went the other way, instead proving he’s not afraid of using a little experimentation. If you’d said to fans of Antichrist Superstar that Mechanical Animals will be heavily based on the 70’s David Bowie glam era, the chances are you’d have been laughed out of the building. The truth is Marilyn Manson did use David Bowie as inspiration, both visually and sonically; the final product is an album that is half as aggressive and more upbeat in tone.

From the moment "Great Big White World" kicks in you’re instantly taken back by the change in style, the biggest change coming from Manson’s vocals: he has a bigger understanding of his voice and you can tell he has a stronger awareness and control over what he does. What worked for Antichrist is Manson’s vocals were very unhinged, you got the sense he just went for it -- not giving a damn -- and the formula fitted the chaotic music perfectly. This time round the band has concentrated on pushing their musical abilities, going where they themselves probably wouldn’t have expected. It’s this approach that makes songs flourish with melody, which is backed up with a polished production; synthesizers are heavily present in songs and generally, it’s all been turned down to accommodate a very exciting time in the band's career.

There are so many catchy hooks found throughout the 14 tracks, you’ll find yourself humming the likes of "Dope Show", "Rock Is Dead" and "I Don’t Like the Drugs, But The Drugs Like Me" for days. Guitars have a broad epicness to them that really shine on "Mechanical Animals", "Disassociative", "Great Big White World" and "Coma White" to name a few. It creates a fat, epic sound and brings real depth to songs. Bass sticks close to the beat on Mechanical Animals, but the groove on this album is undeniable: "Dope Show" and "Rock is Dead" are highlights for Twiggy’s bouncy bass riffs, along with the foot tapping "I Don’t Like The Drugs, But The Drugs Like Me", which oozes in 70’s funk. The album basically showcases a bunch of people maturing as musicians, and their determination benefits from the ideas put into the songs.

This is also the second instalment of the Triptych trilogy. The story tells the tale of two characters: the first being Omega (pictured on the album cover); an alien who falls down to earth, getting captured in the process, and turned into a glam rocker, playing music in a band called "The Mechanical Animals." Omega is a drug addict and uses them as a way of coping with the realities of being a corporate puppet. The second character is Alpha who is trying to get to grips with using his emotions for the very first time; he struggles to understand them though, because he feels humans don’t have a lot of emotion themselves, and struggles to control and use his own. Both characters eventually set out to look for Coma White -- unsure if it’s a drug or a person -- in the hope it’ll make the them feel whole. The concept this time out is a lot less dark compared to Antichrist’s subject matter and focus’ more on drugs and fame. Needless to say, the concept on this album is just as intriguing as the other two instalments.

Overall, Mechanical Animals is the album that caught everyone off guard by going in the opposite direction to what people expected. Proving there was more to this band than meets the eye. It’s an album that manages to please easy listeners, but still gives depth to people who like to sink their teeth into something more. The change in sound showed that Marilyn Manson was here to stay. If Antichrist Superstar’s rough round the edges sound wasn’t for you, Mechanical Animals will take you in the opposite direction: crystal clear production; fantastic song writing; and as smooth and slick as Omega’s genitalia.

Essential.



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user ratings (1296)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
TheSmashBro (4.5)
Doing an impressive leap away from the darkness and into a Great Big White World....

BassDemon333 (4)
Going in a different direction from the darkness that was "Antichrist Superstar" , Manson released "...

SickoKid (4)
...

Zo0lz (4.5)
This release has to be one of the greatest in Marilyn Manson's career....



Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2014


14897 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Probably my second favourite Manson record. Absolutely loved the tone.



As always, constructive criticism welcome guys.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2014


17844 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

70’s funk and Omega's genitalia always make for a good time, I like this about as much as Superstar despite how glam rock it is.

Digging: Thom Yorke - Suspiria

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2014


14897 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Really? Man, I just love some of the epic feel on some of these tracks.

CaptainAaarrrggghhh
December 1st 2014


425 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review.

I'm pretty sure the plot of the records also has something to do with the end of the world, though. Yet another nod to David Bowie, namely Ziggy Stardust.

The final genitalia-related metaphor was priceless.

Rastapunk
December 1st 2014


1317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome rev and record

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2014


14897 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cheers guys. Just one more lp left to review. Till the new one comes out anyway

Sciroccu
December 1st 2014


902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album, one of his best for sure.

trackbytrackreviews
December 1st 2014


3365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You gonna review The Pale Emperor?

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2014


14897 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It would be rude not to, bud.

LightChaotic
December 1st 2014


140 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I go back and forth between this and Holy Wood as my favorite Manson Album. "Coma White" is such a fantastic song. Half of this record is some of my favorite music ever. The other half ranges from pretty good to amazing.

Tunaboy45
December 1st 2014


16583 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

YES! I fucking love this album, possibly more than Antichrist.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
December 2nd 2014


14897 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm exactly the same as you Light, but I think Holy Wood has more of a hold on me.

TVC15
March 26th 2017


9817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I imagine there's an alternate universe out there where Manson transforms his regular band into the Visual Kei likeness of the Omega band on this album he lives the rest of his life as a huge J rocker

Digging: Therapy? - Infernal Love

DarkSideOfLucca
September 18th 2017


13226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album still rules, but Antichrist Superstar and Holy Wood are still obviously better imo

Bigpapad
September 18th 2017


352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album, it's surprisingly aged gracefully as well which says a lot of the quality of Manson.

DarkSideOfLucca
September 18th 2017


13226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, every album in the trilogy is amazing. I actually really dig Golden Age as well. Parts of his other albums are cool too, but those 4 will probably always be my favorites.

TVC15
September 18th 2017


9817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Golden Age is maybe my 4th favorite Manson album but it contains my top 2 favorite songs from him, the title track and Vodevil

artiswar
September 18th 2017


5596 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this album changed my entire life

Digging: Threatin - Breaking the World

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2017


14897 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

[2]



Although, Holy Wood a little more so.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2017


14897 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great Big White World is such an awesome opener, probably his best.



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