If The Pale Emperor is engaging in discourse with any of his predecessors, it would be with 1998’s Mechanical Animals. The synth is there, as are the allusions to space, drugs, guns and greed. “Birds of Hell awaiting” sounds like Manson has had a revelation seventeen years after his 1998 single, ‘The dope show”. He has effectively broken the rules and glued them back together, forming a beautiful auditory mosaic for your earholes.

You may think you’re experiencing déjà-vu when listening to tracks eleven to thirteen. What you are in fact hearing are alternatively titled acoustic versions of tracks three, four and ten. On the surface it seems a bit of cheek to palm these tracks off as the ‘deluxe’ part of the album when you’ve heard them already, but you’re permitted to hear an even more melodious side to Manson’s voice that’ll leave you wondering if he’s going to release an R&B album next. After all, he’s recently become the face of an Yves Saint Laurent campaign – there’s no telling what he might do next.

 

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