"You'll have to cut it down
And burn me into splinters
Or I'll unwrap the string
That was me
Around your finger
And I'll hang you in
Your bedroom burial ground"
I hate starting things with a note of criticism or pessimism, but I did have my own pre-conceived notions about this one. When I follow Marilyn Manson's discography from beginning to end, both Eat Me Drink Me and High End of Low seem a bit out of place. So when I heard, "No Reflection," the lead single from the new album in mid-March, it was clear that Born Villain was on it's way, and I held on to a shred of hope. The term "classic Manson" comes to mind. I suppose that by the eighth full-length album, there's a style and sound that just fit.
It's the first album since the band's release from Interscope, giving the band some creative authority and freedom not previously possible. My favorite part of any of these albums has always been the lyrical content, a given as I'm a lyricist and vocalist. Born Villain does not disappoint on this front, and Manson even ventures out of his comfort zone into repeating verses, something practically unheard of on previous albums. It's blues-y and rhythm-driven, experimenting with slower tempos, acoustic and ambient sounds mixed with aforementioned piercing lyrics. There's a different sense of self communicated, a desire to shake up old habits, to start fresh. The bonus track is a cover of "You're So Vain," a treat in and of itself.
Basically, what I'm saying is that if you also yearn for the golden days of Grotesque, enjoyed MM's work in any capacity, gave up hope after Eat Me, or have never heard it at all...Born Villain deserves your undivided attention for at least one full listen. It will surprise you, much like it surprised me.
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