Portrait Of An American Family review by Marilyn Manson

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  • Released: Jul 12, 1994
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 9 (31 votes)
Marilyn Manson: Portrait Of An American Family

Sound — 8
Marilyn Manson trades his darker, more gothic style for a more cartoonish and kooky one in this album, notably his first. Songs like Dope Hat may seem innocent at first glance, with audio clips from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and an interestingly "bouncy" tempo, but after a good hard listen, a darker, more drug-related meaning reveals it's self. (But what can you expect from a song called "Dope Hat"? ) As Marilyn Manson's first album, his style is not quite set yet. Gidget Gein and Sara Lee Lucas also appear on this album, making POAFF unique in terms of band members. One person I have to give credit to is Madonna Wayne Gacy/Pogo, because his keyboard playing stands out on POAFF more than any other album, even performing sythesized brass riffs during My Monkey. This sounds like something the band recorded in their basement for fun, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Many of the non-singles are every bit as good as the singles, I might add.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics aren't as serious as in future releases, but some seem like previews of what is to come, for example, Cake and Sodomy or Get Your Gunn, both of which deliver strong messages of the injustice and poor shape of American society. In some songs, the lyrics, are darker and more sinister, for example, Wrapped in Plastic. In songs like Dope Hat and Get Your Gunn, the instrumental part adds to the sinister and creepy feeling of the song. You can hear the influence of bands like Black Sabbath here, especailly on tracks like Misery Machine. Marilyn Manson is no opera singer, but his voice is unique, as well as his singing style. Basically, he screams his head off into a microphone. But it works.

Overall Impression — 7
POAFF is one of the most unique metal albums I have ever listened to. I prefer his newer releases, but this is no doubt an interesting listen for a Manson fan. My favorite songs off the album are Dope Hat, Lunchbox, Cake and Sodomy, and Misery Machine. I heard somewhere that Snake Eyes and Sissies was originally intended to be a single. It didn't stand out much for me, really, and a better choice would've been Cake and Sodomy, which I think is better than even Get Your Gunn. My least favorite tracks were Sweet Tooth and Cyclops, which I just didn't think sounded quite like Mr. Manson in terms of lyrics, and definetly didn't stand up to other songs on the disc. If it were lost/stolen, I would buy it again as soon as possible.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I really like this one..but I don't get what the second-to-last review said about "Cyclops" and "Sweet Tooth", I loved both of those songs. Oh, and DOPPELHERZ....wow..you're crazy.
    this cd blows nuts....acss was is and always will be the best manson did.