Born Villain review by Marilyn Manson

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  • Released: May 1, 2012
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8 (103 votes)
Marilyn Manson: Born Villain

Sound — 7
Brian Warner began his career while going to college for a journalism degree, and formed the band The Spooky Kids. Later on the name was changed to the name of Brian's stage persona, Marilyn Manson, and through connections he had made with Trent Reznor of NIN had their debut album "Portrait Of An American Family" released on Reznor's record label and went on tour to support NIN. This sky-rocketed Marilyn Manson to national infamy due to the controversial persona that Marilyn Manson had developed. Although initially the concept for the band was something between industrial metal and hardcore punk rock, their musically gravitated towards more of an alternative metal sound. Over the years, Marilyn Manson has cultivated his stage persona in order to create and sustain a level of shock from the general public which has often over-shadowed their music.

Fast forward to 2012, and Marilyn Manson is releasing their eighth studio album, "Born Villain". Although they have fallen out of the national spotlight they had been such a subject of in the mid and late 90's, their music has been consistently interesting and often good. It appears that "Born Villain" will better than just interesting and will actually be a good album as well. I have to admit a distaste for the way Marilyn Manson has used shock as a marketing tool, and to enjoy his music I always have to listen to it and pretend I don't know anything about the band itself. I suggest this, as it really helps to enjoy the music for what it is. Really, the album feels like Marilyn trying to stretch a little bit but maybe not knowing exactly how to do it. At times it is well executed and at others it feels a little awkward. Regardless, it feels like a genuine effort, and honest, so I have to give it a thumbs up.

Lyrics — 7
As always, the lyrics of Marilyn Manson's songs range from being genuine to being designed to shock to just being generally depressive. I know that it sounds negative when I describe it that way but that isn't exactly how I mean it. I do have to be in the right frame of mind and mood to listen to Manson's lyrics, but often times I've learned while he may see the world through a distorted lens he isn't afraid to talk about the way things really are, at their darkest. We need artists that are willing to do this (even if they're possessed by their own over the top wigged out stage persona). The lyrics from Born Villain do seem to be much more personal than Brian Warner's past albums, which is something interesting because in the past his lyrics have been mostly about society or about the nature of fame.

From the song "The Gardener", you have the following lyrics: "I'm not man enough to be human but I'm trying to fit in and I'm learning to fake it/ don't ever meet their friends/ tells you too much or not enough/ or worse, exactly the wrong thing/ every nuance every detail every movement every smell/ sound phrase inflection/ the way she laughs/ these are all the things you either obsessively fetishize or make yourself grow to love/ although you are supposed to be done growing she is still growing/ it is like a garden with two flowers one just blooming/ and casting a shadow just like yours/ and then it becomes a struggle of sunlight or rain or weeds". Most of the lyrics on "Born Villain" seem to be primarily autobiographical. Marilyn's vocal delivery is really the same as it ever was not really any comment you can make on that, though there is much more spoken word delivery on "Born Villain" than his previous releases.

Overall Impression — 7
My favorite songs on the album are "No Reflection", "Slo-Mo-Tion", "Breaking The Same Old Ground", and the title track "Born Villain". The only song I really dislike is "Pistol Whipped". This isn't the best album ever from Marilyn Manson, but it is the best we've seen in a few releases and it is much more personal lyrically than previous releases. As I listen to multiple listens I seem to feel differently about the album at each listen, but the end verdict is it is a worthwhile collection of songs. You may be able to tell from reading my review that I ran the gambit of emotions regarding this album, and I think from the interviews I've read this is what Marilyn Manson has intended. If so, then great job on his part.

There are 14 tracks on the album counting the hidden track, which is a cover of "You're So Vain". With the bonus track the album clocks in at just over 63 minutes. This is really a respectable length for an album, which is a nice change from a lot of modern bands that release albums that clock in at under 30 minutes. A word about the bonus song the cover of "You're So Vain" if you don't compare it to the original, but listen to it as an individual song it isn't that bad, but it is probably the first cover from Marilyn Manson that I didn't like when compared to the original version.

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Jackie Lawless
    iscreamicecream wrote: Manson is now a lady gaga wannabe. how depressing.
    That might be the dumbest thing i've ever read. she's even admitted she's derived heavy inspiration, almost to the point of an exact copy of Him....
    Alright, I just want to say that when it comes to Marilyn Manson (or pretty much anything concerning music), everyone needs to be MUCH more unbiased than they are. The people that don't like Manson don't have to disregard everything about him because they think he's a freak, and the people that are huge Manson fans don't have to think every last thing Manson does is pure gold. Please try to be more critical.
    Marilyn Manson has never released a bad album and I support this new album as well. *^*% everybody else, I want cd sales and great artists to continue not to be discouraged and quit!...But overall still love his music and that's what counts 10/10
    Even though the album is pretty good and is a great album to begin a new collection of albums so to speak with the sound being a bit like all of the stuff the band has done in the past mixed together but, a little more industrial, I have to disagree with the writer giving it 7/10 (I would have said 5 or 6 personally) mostly because I disagree about the writer's opinion on the vocal performance, the whole muttered vocal thing is a little bit tiresome at times (it's awesome in The Gardener and Overneath) and the guy just can't scream/shout or sing as well as he could on for example Holy Wood. I know it's his show sort of thing but, that album would have been incredible to say the least if he allowed a younger guy to step in and do the backing. ps Artwork was shit praying for an alternate one soon, again he's gone down hill there, considering he's had some great artwork since the beginning of his career from basically Portrait of American Family to Holy Wood (and Golden Age of Grotesque if were being kind.) Maybe I'll just look for a fan made one or use one of his paintings (which are pretty good.) instead.
    Municipal Waste
    A lot of people say, "What's that?" It's Pat! A lot of people ask, "Who's he? Or she?" A ma'am or a sir, accept him or her or whatever it might be. It's time for androgyny!
    I like MM, but I can't help but feel that the last time he was relevant musically was with the release of "Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)". "The Golden Age of Grotesque" was not bad, but that album just lacked that something extra, that something that made MM special and exciting. "Eat Me, Drink Me" was a great name for the album, but a MM love story just isn't good enough, no matter how dark it is. And musically it was simply less than "The Golden Age of Grotesque", which in itself lacked musically. On "The High End of Low" the downhill continued. In all albums there are good moments, even great ones, but they are just too few to lift the albums anywhere close to the quality of "Antichrist Superstar", "Mechanical Animals" and "Holy Wood". Even though "Born Villain" is definitely a step in the right direction, it is simply lacking musically. We have heard it before, on his previous three albums, the quite clean electronic soundscapes mixed with sharp, dirty guitars and Manson's awsome voice. Even though it is a step in the right direction, it feels just repetitive. I am beginning to think that MM has become irrelevant, at least musically. His music is not enough to stand on its own, it needs a show, a theater.
    meh get lost motor. If you don't like this, why are you even here? The pieces are pretty good though, and yeah, he could improve on album cover. But it isn't as bad as Sulfur's single CD cover by slipknot. That was awful (the song was pretty decent tho).
    iscreamicecream wrote: Manson is now a lady gaga wannabe. how depressing.
    I believe that lady gaga copies marilyn's costumes. He has been in the business longer than her. The album is effing gr8 tho. Murderers are getting pretty, breaking old ground and born villain and gardener shud get music videos (not sure about all the songs I listed, but they are decent)
    Excellent review at a bad attempt at an album. I understand Mariln is there for people in a bad place, but that doesn't make an album or musician good because people do good things with their material. Great job at the review!
    purplexing wrote: First words are Brian Warner. Completely loses any validity in the review.
    How so?
    I bought and listened to it and almost put it in the garbage and I am a lifelong Manson fan. Nothing interesting to me at all. I think John 5 should come back and rip another album with him it would awesome this crap is just to mediocre may or may not give it another listen.....
    "A word about the bonus song the cover of "You're So Vain" if you don't compare it to the original, but listen to it as an individual song it isn't that bad, but it is probably the first cover from Marilyn Manson that I didn't like when compared to the original version." I agree; let's blame Johnny Depp. It's still the best song on the album, though.
    i tried to like this but not hus best.. far from it.. only hardcore manson fans will enjoy.. to the rest of us.. dont bother!!
    This is a pretty good review. I actually read the whole thing and it didn't bore me once. I have not heard anything on the new Manson album but after reading this I am interested. Good job!
    Not too bad an album but I would have preferred some songs that were a little more ambitious. Some of the songs seemed very samey and basic. Despite that "No Reflection" isn't too bad and "You're So Vain" was a nice bonus track.
    Okay, all the people who hate manson, you have to respect him. he's pretty important in music for how much he's inspired and helped music evolve, his evolution revived shockrock since White Zombie and Alice Cooper became more underground. Manson is now more considered underground i supposed... but anyone who says "new manson is a desperate attempt to retain glory from his old days" is kind of annoying. he's a musician who plays new music and changes it or keeps it the same, who cares. it sounds good, i liked it. don't troll. and to end my statement... who cares how he looks -.-