When Marilyn Manson’s last album The High End of Low was released, it showed a completely different side of him. Despite such familiar-sounding songs like “Four Rusted Horses” and “Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon,” there were also love-oriented songs like “Running to the Edge of the World” that alienated fans, which was reflected in the sales. It still stands as Manson’s most underrated album to date.
Taking the cue from that feedback, Manson reverts back to his Antichrist Svperstar days with his new album Born Villain. He is at his all-time best when he draws the irk from everyone worldwide. Without controversy, Marilyn just isn’t so Manson. Third track “Pistol Whipped” begins with the lyrics “You look so pretty when you cry / Don’t want to hit you but the only thing / between our love is a bloody nose, busted lip / and a blackened eye” is sure to draw criticism from PTA groups and politicians all over – which I believe is the exact reason why this song was written. It’s a very catchy song that starts out with an electro snare and simple guitars before bringing out the band for a short chorus.
Although The High End of Low was a really good album, Born Villain is dripping with the classic, anthemic songs like the olden days. “Overneath the Path of Misery” is an excellent example of this. It’s a little reminiscent of “The Dope Show” in some ways. After a lengthy and drawn out intro, the guitars kick into gear with the drums providing the basis of which the song stands upon. Manson’s delivery is full of attitude that was mostly missing from his last two albums.
Continuing on a similar trend, “The Flowers of Evil” takes the same kind of approach, but with the bass giving the foundation of the song. There’s a fair bit of electronics to mix things up a little bit. Being the creepiest sounding song, there’s a fair amount of fading in and out instruments and Manson utilizing a certain vocal tone that I personally haven’t heard and couldn’t compare.
Having that sort of sound and lyrics that remind one of the old days, “Disengaged” is sure to be a fan favorite. It’s a song about isolation, suicide, and the other problems of being a social outcast, which will always remain catchy. There are so many examples of how Manson draws directly from his past and infuses it into Born Villain, this track being another great example.
Overall, this album is shining proof that Marilyn Manson is back from the slump of the last few albums and ready to reclaim the throne as the most controversial shock rocker of all time. Born Villain is an absolute must have of the year.