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May 1, 2012 | 2:13 p.m. CST
Released: May 1
Known for his extreme imagery and bold expression, Marilyn Manson has been entertaining and shocking audiences since the early 90’s.
Many feared that Manson was losing his touch after hearing his previous release, The High End of Low. Fans of the shock rocker can listen in relief as Born Villain brings Manson back to his former glory.
The album heralds a new beginning for Manson as he successfully modernizes his sound from older albums like Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) and creates something new.
Born Villain combines the gritty guitar sound from older albums with the slow paced, industrial rock of more recent works.
Unlike his other albums, Born Villain focuses on repetition. Most songs only have one verse that’s repeated, followed by repeated hooks and choruses.
Although this might get old with your average artist, Manson’s lyrics are intriguing enough to warrant the musical déjà vu. “I’m not man enough to be human / but I’m trying to fit in / and I’m learning to fa-fa-fake it.” Syllables tend to repeat as well.
Although most of the album has a passive-aggressive pace, “Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day” has frantic guitar riffs, and Manson screams rather than sings at moments.
For listeners that prefer Manson’s creepier approach, the beginning of “Overneath the Path of Misery” is a perfect blend of the uncanny. The song begins with Manson reading a quote from William Shakespeare in a slow, distorted voice. The song itself might sound familiar if you’ve seen his ambiguous and slightly unsettling short film directed by Shia LaBeouf, originally titled Born Villain.
The clicking sound of a pistol being cocked plays 45 seconds into the appropriately titled “Pistol Whipped,” creating an eerie atmosphere. The song echoes the similarly eerie use of the clicking pistol in “Count to 6 and Die,” from Holy Wood.
Manson is no stranger to putting out covers, such as “Tainted Love” and “This Is Halloween.” On this album, Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” gets a Manson makeover. Much like the other covers, Manson transforms the song into a wonderfully darker version.
Although not being as provocative as he once was, Manson demonstrates his growth as a musician on Born Villain, with vocals ranging from low, dragged out moans and screeches to belting out the lyrics and slowly rapping.
Filled with repeated lyrics, a hypnotic voice, and short, industrial guitar riffs, Born Villain brings the master of the macabre back into the limelight, which might be a little bit too bright for Manson's tastes.