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Marilyn Manson, ‘Born Villain’ – Album Review

'Born Villain'
Cooking Vinyl

In our recent interview with Marilyn Manson, the iconic rocker told us that his latest album, ‘Born Villain,’ is his “comeback.” Manson had grown tired of not only his musical direction, but with himself as a person. To once again light the creative spark within him, Manson isolated himself in a near-empty apartment with bare walls so he would be forced to create.

In the frontman’s pilgrimage to once again find inspiration and to transform into a better Marilyn Manson both musically and personally, the multi-talented artist created one of the best albums of his career. ‘Born Villain’ is not just a collection of songs, it’s an album with a distinct beginning, middle and end.

The claustrophobic ‘Hey Cruel World’ feels almost like giving the finger to both our society and himself  – beginning the record perfectly with Manson’s trademark unsettling vocal style and inspired lyrics such as “Creator, Preserver, Destroyer / Ask which one I am” and “The center of the universe / Cannot exist / When there are no / No edges.”

After the album’s first single ‘No Reflection,’ the record begins to slow down into a continuously uneasy path with ‘The Gardener’ and ‘The Flowers of Evil,’ the former of which starts off with Manson whispering, “I’m not man enough to be human, but I’m trying to fit in, and I’m learning to fake it.” Having taken inspiration from acts such as Joy Division, Birthday Party and Killing Joke, the middle of the record feels like a dance party in limbo.

As the album proceeds into ‘Children of Cain,’ Manson injects a bit more energy into the record, creating a crescendo that continues into one of the album’s highlight tracks, ‘Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day.’ The song boasts the classic full-speed-ahead industrial style of Manson, reminiscent of ‘Astonishing Panorama of the Endtimes.’

The end of ‘Born Villain’ rounds off into a mixture of Manson’s various styles with the title track and ‘Breaking the Same Old Ground,’ which perhaps in a poetic sense of irony, feels like anything but breaking the same old ground. Despite the pessimistic title, the end of the album portrays a harmonious confidence that will translate heavily with listeners.

Despite the notion put forth by naysayers that Manson’s best work is behind him, ‘Born Villain’ proves not only that the connection between Manson and his fans can still grow stronger, but that the rock icon still has much more to say.
4.5 Stars

 

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