90′s rock superstar Marilyn Manson has released his latest effort “Born Villain” and I didn’t know what to expect, after “The Golden Age of Grotesque” I sorta stopped caring. I skipped the two records after that but after seeing him live last month, I really wanted to see what this new record had to offer. Born Villain is a mix of old Manson and modern Manson, it has that industrial/rock punch that gets you rocking out. However most of this album is on the chill side, it’s a mix of his usual sex appeal and 80′s Casio Rock, like Depeche Mode. It’s as if Manson sat down for a few weeks straight and listened to them, She Wants Revenge and whatever else played on that Pandora list, then wrote this album. It’s definitely derived from that style/era of music. With his creativity, he has mended his own sound with this genre of music. Personally, I really like it. It’s fitting for an aging goth rocker. The energy isn’t as powerful as Anti-Christ or Holy Wood but his message is loud and clear. Born Villain is a catchy album that will get you toe tapping for sure.
Yes, this Manson is not what I was expecting. This is the soundtrack to the orgy you wish you could participate in. The beats/grooves are porn inspired it feels like. The industrial rock style is there in some songs, notably “Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day” being the heaviest song on the album. I was impressed, that song comes out of nowhere and fucking brings the house down. Songs like “Pistol Whipped“, “Slo-Mo-Tion“, “Children of Cain“, “Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms” & “Breaking the Same Old Ground” are definite highlights of the album. The way these songs are written stand out, it has that great Manson lyrical content and I just really enjoyed these songs. Each one had something unique, either a riff, a beat or the way it’s sung; each of these had something great about them. The rest of the tracks were good but nothing truly special.
Manson really brought it to the table this time around. I haven’t enjoyed his singing since Holy Wood honestly. Vocals on “Overneath the Path of Misery“, “The Gardener” (Which is mostly just spoken, but done really well), “Children of Cain“, “Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms” & “Breaking the Same Old Ground” are fantastic, he really taps into that old school vocal style that really made Antichrist, Mechanical & Holy Wood that much better. The music on Born Villain is pretty good: It sounds as if it’s 50% Casio driven and 50% actual instruments. Especially with the drumming. This is very noticeable on the song “Pistol Whipped” when the real drumming doesn’t come in until it’s chorus time. Then after that, he shuts the hell up and the Casio takes over again. While this really doesn’t bug me too bad, I am sure it could be troublesome for some listeners.
Born Villain is very influenced by music that has been loved and popular for 20-25 years by goth kids and loners alike. If you enjoy a good Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Interpol, She Wants Revenge and Duran Duran album….then you will enjoy this one. The song “The Gardener” has this part on it that reminds me of the song “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazzarus. I may be off but I can’t help but associate this album with that genre of music. It’s definitely that emo groove with some Manson industrial rock sprinkled on top. It’s pretty good I must say. While nothing is overly impressive or interesting, it all comes together to form a decent album.
Born Villain is a good listen, it’s not award winning but it’s something you may spin more than once. I know I did.