Born Villain is the eighth studio album from Marilyn Manson, the follow-up to the disappointing High End of Low. The shock-rocker described the new album as having a heavier tone when compared to previous albums. He classifies it as “suicide death metal”, evident in the macabre lyrics and general dark feel to the tracks. This isn’t a relatively new concept when dealing with Manson, but you cannot help but feel that he drew heavily on his older work to record Born Villain.
The first single, “No Reflection”, perfectly blends simple chord progressions used by Manson in his older albums, accompanied by his signature growl, to create a dark song rich with emotion.
“Slo-Mo-Tion” opens with a catchy bass riff-and-drum beat but the moment Manson adds his vocals to the mix, the song fails. It becomes painful to listen to, due to Manson’s off-tune whining, which ends up sounding more like a choir of drowning cats than a rock icon. By the song’s end, even the solo is off-tune, leaving you to wonder whether the band even listened to the song before releasing the album.
With “The Gardener”, Manson mumbles lyrics depressing enough to drive Oprah to suicide, and the song lacks the power and emotion to deliver lyrics that speak of Manson’s view’s on of life, love and creation.
The best performance on the album comes with “Murderers Are Getting Prettier Everyday”. It showcases the band’s potential with the heaviest riff on the album and Manson delivers his strongest vocals. After listening to the track, it leaves you wanting more of the same. This is Manson at his best.
The band continues their tradition of covering older songs with their version of “You’re So Vain”. This collaboration with actor Johnny Depp on guitar and drums adds the signature Manson feel to a classic song. The only disappointment is that the band seems better at performing someone else’s songs than writing their own material.
After listening to Born Villain,one cannot help but wonder if the rocker has run out of ideas. On the whole, the album feels like a collection of greatest hits with a few new effects and lyrics. His voice also fails to impress. This might be a testament to the hard lifestyle he has become associated with. He relies on his band to carry him through the album, but even this is not enough to save the album from being disappointing.
See the “No Reflection” music video below or @Perdeby7411b.