sat 20/07/2024

CD: Marilyn Manson – Born Villain | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Marilyn Manson – Born Villain

CD: Marilyn Manson – Born Villain

Their eighth album serves up more cabaret antichrist shtick, plus Johnny Depp

Business as usual, with added funk: Marilyn Manson's 'Born Villain'

Cartoon goth-metal boogieman Brian Warner and his gang return with their first album in three years, and their 10th in all. In Europe Marilyn Manson – the stage name of both the front man and the band - are rightly seen as an industrialised update of Alice Cooper’s horror-film showbiz rock but in the States the country’s more conservative elements really do seem to buy into their cabaret antichrist schtick.

This even led to Warner’s articulate and amusing appearance defending himself from accusations of driving the nation’s youth to gun-crime in Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine.

Marilyn Manson’s music has, perhaps, often seemed secondary to their visual impact, especially as Warner/Manson is a witty manipulator of the media, with sidelines in art and film-making. The band’s default setting has always been a pop take on Ministry’s electro-metal hammering, and their best-known tune is an execrable version of “Tainted Love”. Born Villain is business as usual but it has a certain unexpected funk in the rhythm section. Accompanied by long term co-songwriting wingman and guitarist Twiggy Ramirez, Manson comes up with tasty intro riffs, flecked with electronic effects. In fact, most of the songs start with a real groove, but then the stentorian metal hammering takes over. 

For the uninitiated – and I can make no pretence to be a devotee of Manson’s oeuvre – most of it bares its teeth without mustering much that’s memorable. However, there are exceptions, notably the enjoyable glam stomp of “Pistol Whipped” and “Flowers of Evil” which has a smashing punk tune and comes on like Patricia Morrison-era Sisters of Mercy. As a general rule, when the singer is adopting his strangled David Bowie imitation and the bass is leading, all is well, but when he steps into death metal growling and the bludgeoning guitars arrive, things grow more predictable. As for the cover of Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain”, featuring special guest Johnny Depp, perhaps the less said, the better.

Watch Marilyn Manson's 'No Reflection'


To refer to this band as "cartoonish" or even "goth" is extremely ignorant. Once again, just like in the 90's, there's poor, undereducated people who know nothing of the bands, or music industry for that matter, who write reviews and make comments on such things without knowing, and excuse my language, a Goddamn thing. It's fine to have your own opinions, but when they come off ignorant, it voids just about everything said.

I fully agree with the comments by Nerdy Justin, the mocking tone taken right off the bat by Thomas clearly shows there was no chance that this album would receive an unbiased review. Thomas also shows his ignorance in stating that Manson's best known tune is their cover of "Tainted Love" where as even those that do not follow the alternative music scene are well aware that "The Beautiful People" is by far the bands most commonly played song. I personally didn't care much for this album like Manson's more recent offerings as I thought he was at his last good album was "The Golden Age of Grotesque".

I agree, as a fan the album doesnt quite fit together as a whole, and the bonus cover tracks at the end are lacking and unnecessary. Ive noticed the uk press have been the harshest so far - mediocre reviews from the most well known magazines. Mechanical Animals, Holywood and the more laid back Eat Me, Drink Me are their strongest albums in my opinion..

"their best-known tune is an execrable version of “Tainted Love”"-- really? no beautifull people? not even sweet dreams? uh.. ok I guess...

"best known tune, Tainted Love"??? Far from his best tune -_- God this review is fucking terrible....

Marilyn Manson is far from a goth band, and from being a Metal band. As for your opinion, you're entitled.

Could not agree with you more. This review doesn't only come of as ignorant but also as arrogant. It goes without saying that it was obviously a biased review. And having not cited any of Manson's previous work for reference... it becomes painfully clear that this reviewer knows very little or nothing at all about the man or the band except for the unavoidable Columbine incident. I give this reviewer 1 out of 5 stars. And let me make this clear... not because I don't agree with the results... but because it is painfully obvious that this reviewer from here onward referred to as "douche" is biased. And it could not be any more obvious. The douche lacks professionalism or respect... and in return I will show him neither.

As I was reading this review all I could think was... best known song tainted love..? please. Just for the record I have had this album on repeat for days now and the cover of your so vein I find to be so much fun.this guy is entitled to his own opinion but when writing a review I think it should be by some one who doesn't already completely hate the band.

Mr. Green I must agree with the above post, you are entirely too ignorant to be writing about this band! I wasn't a big fan of their appearance but I must say his music is always fun great rock with some unique twist thrown in. I took the time last night to listen to this album (You tube) and it did not disappoint and will definitely be purchasing this week. Mr. Green just so you know the Band is known for the song "The beautiful people" and "Sweet Dreams" not the cover of Tainted Love ?

wow.. what a horrible article.. at least know a bit aboout what you're writing about.. Holy Fuck. I have been a fan since 1996 and this album is his best since Holy Wood for sure. Tainted Love is not even in the top 100 Manson songs. That song is an after thought compared to almost all of this album. Overneath, Slo-Mo-Tion, Pistol Whipped, The Gardener, The Flowers Of Evil, Children Of Cain, Murderers, Born Villain and Breaking The Same Old Ground are all better then anything he has put out in 10 years. The production is crisp and fresh and the story and songs flow from trrack to track. 5/5 stars easy.. coming from a real fan that was not very happy with the last 2 albums.

When your review has gotten entirely oppositional feedback, maybe in hindsight you should have drafted a few more times. To agree with much of what's been said, when you start off in such a mocking tone your audience is bound to lose interest in everything else you come up with. Of course you're entitled to an opinion but you've written a paragraph on the album itself, and the two before it putting the reader off what you've got to say. Would have appreciated a little less bias and ignorance.

Wow, this is hardly a review. First off all, yes Manson can be over the top in the visual department, but he is hardly cartoony, goth or even metal. If anything he is theatrical and more closely related to performance art than actual rock music. Born Villain is not his tenth album, it is his eight album. Smells Like Children is technically an EP, not a full length studio production. The first paragraph of this review really doesn't say much about the album or the band. The part about him being an updated version of Alice Cooper and his Antichrist "schtick" troubling Americans is old news. This knowledge is something that is already known to anyone who is willing to read a review about a Marilyn Manson album. I am trying to figure out what part of this paragraph explains the reason he appeared in "Bowling for Columbine". Actually, what does any of this have to do with Born Villain? If Manson's music sounds like pop to you, then congratulations, this is what Manson was going for. If you have read his biography or any of his interviews from the ACS era, he mentions that his is trying to his message infiltrate the mainstream with catchy pop tunes. "Tainted Love" is not their best known tune, maybe to Hot Topic teeny bopping Europeans, but to everyone else it's either Sweet Dreams or the Dope Show. Sweet Dreams was his breakout hit and the Dope Show had an incredible music video and an unforgettable VMAs performance. Let us not forget The Beautiful People. And finally I reach the "review" part of this so called "album review". "Born Villain is business as usual but it has a certain unexpected funk in the rhythm section. Accompanied by long term co-songwriting wingman and guitarist Twiggy Ramirez, Manson comes up with tasty intro riffs, flecked with electronic effects. In fact, most of the songs start with a real groove, but then the stentorian metal hammering takes over." That sounds like every other Manson song to me. As for the rest of the review, you are entitled to your opinion. The only part I don't agree on is using the term "death metal growling" when talking about Manson. I've been listening to his music since he first came out and he's never done any of that. If anything, I wish he would pepper his discography with more traditional death or thrash metal to be taken a bit more seriously with the metal community. Also, to add more variety to his usual material that is, I must admit, is getting old.

This can't be a serious review, can it? You clearly know nothing of Manson as a person or a band. It looks like you've looked up a lesser version of Wikipedia to do 'research' and then based the rest of the 'review' on what you think you know about Marilyn Manson. So the album wasn't to your liking, that's fine, but you made so many simple factual errors in this, it really takes away any credibility you had (if you had any). You'd think that somebody reviewing a Marilyn Manson album would at least be familiar with his music...

This is a patronizing review by an uninformed individual. If you don’t like raw fish, don’t review sushi bars. For Manson fans, this album is a thrilling return to form by our favorite brilliant deviant.

Uh oh, butthurt pseudo-intellectual Mansonites. Somebody call the waaaaaaahmbulance.

I thought Marilyn Manson was funny, but his fans are even more side-splitting.

I love manson. i really do, but honestly his latest albums have been a bit of a disappointment in my eyes. One maybe two songs are amazing, but the rest just seem blah. Golden Age of Grotesque was the last album that truly kept my attention from start to end. I miss my old Marilyn Manson. Please come back.

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