An Album to Change Your Identity To

Mike Bonanni, Staff Writer

   Marilyn Manson has made an impact on our culture and is an inspiration for many young rockers. Manson has continued the theme of triumphant returns this year as more artists go back to the recording studio after a lengthy hiatus.

   “Born Villain” is still the same Marilyn Manson that fans are used to with its harsh industrial sounds. However, since the last album, “The High End of Low,” he has had a more human sound that reflects more on himself. He still has some decent lyrical work going on and it is nice to hear something new from him.

   This album could be considered to be where the last one started off with a very similar sound to it. There are not as many emotionally charged songs and a lot of them have a hint of mellowness.

   Everything sounds really good for the first couple of songs, but then it starts to sound the same. He does a lot of the same stuff on a number of the tracks and it feels like Manson is trying to relax since the last album. He begins almost every song with a mini intro, so there is a lot of waiting involved. Some of it is pretty cool, but not anything too amazing. In fact, Manson uses a lot of rhythmic breathing and often winds up mechanical objects before a song kicks in on multiple tracks. He has been using a more electronic sound, but on this album it feels forced.

   Around track ten, Manson finds a musical stride and kicks things back up with “Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms,” almost returning to his old sound. He puts on a pretty strong ending, though the last song, “You’re So Vain” ends very suddenly leaving the audience wanting more.

   Basically, this album is nice for anyone who missed Marilyn Manson. It may be good for anyone who may be trying to get into him too since it is more lax and not as in-your-face as some of the earlier works he has done. It may also not be pleasing for beginning listeners because it is pretty far from the nature of his early work. It may show his artistic growth, but there is still some yearning for his hard-hitting songs of older albums. This is a hit or miss album, some stuff is great and some is just alright.

   Some standout tracks include the opening track, “Hey, Cruel World” and “Murderers Are Getting Prettier Ever Day.” This is not a bad album and those waiting to hear it should still go and listen to it. It is not super amazing, but it is Marilyn Manson still doing what he does.

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