Review: Marilyn Manson – ‘Born Villain’

The God of Fuck is a man capable of great music, yet over the years it has been called into question as the quality dipped from time to time. Following some relatively average releases, ‘Born Villain’ is slated to be his return to greatness following his split with Interscope records and, at first, it seems like the move could be a positive one.

‘Hey, Cruel World’ and ‘No Reflection’ are a promising opening duo and from that point onwards there are some moments that pack a real punch. The likes of ‘Overneath the Path of Misery’ appear to be one of the stand out numbers, with some real grind and tempo to it; that is, of course, once the lengthy introduction ends. A key criticism is that these lengthy intros break up any fluidity this album seems to possess and it often feels disjointed, with quality moments constantly being broken up.

On a first listen, this album didn’t blow us away and it felt a little underwhelming considering the build up. However, upon a few listens new musical flaunts rear their head as both interesting and enjoyable. His cover of ‘You’re So Vain’ featuring Johnny Depp on guitar stood out immediately through its familiarity, but even this sees improvements with more time. There are some core Manson elements there – sadistic calls, sinister undertones, deep-rooted riffs, yet there also seems to be something missing.

It feels that Marilyn Manson is a man capable of brilliance, yet this just feels off the mark. He still has his great moments on ‘Born Villain’, though there was just something lacklustre throughout this album, a niggling sense of repetition and lethargy at given moments. Give it time and it certainly does improve, in fact it becomes rather enjoyable, but there’s just something yet to ‘click’. Perhaps more time will allow it to improve further. As a fan of Manson, I really hope that’s the case.

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