Last week, on January 19th, 2015, one of the most controversial figures in the last few decades has dropped a new album for his still ever-present legions of followers. Marilyn Manson, one of the media’s most beloved and hated rockstar (dependent on who you ask), has just put out his ninth full-length, which many fans and critics alike seem to be very much approving of. There will always be one to argue strongly against the claim that Marilyn Manson is a true lyrical genius.
Regardless, the purpose here will be to discuss the record in and of itself, disregarding past work. This is because Marilyn, like Eminem, who had referenced and worked with Manson quite a bit during his early years, has had to put up with a bit of criticism after releasing his previous three albums. Much of this criticism comes from the casual listener who believes that artists have no right to change in style or direction, despite showing much growth as far as lyrical capacity, musical knowledge, etc. Therefore, it is best to disregard previous records, for the sake of a fair review.
The album takes off with “Killing Strangers”, a bluesy/rock sort of track. The great thing about Manson’s lyrics is that they can be interpreted in many different ways by different people. To me, this track touched on America’s obsession with guns and violence, and the way we tolerate the two as long as our own loved ones are not affected. Very thought provoking lyrics, regardless; that being said, the chorus is quite average, and the song could overall be better.
The next track, “Deep Six”, was the Record’s second single. It’s got catchy, abstract verses with an okay chorus. The guitars on this song are magnificent, with a much poppy drum track. Good song but, again, not my favorite track on the album. However, the record has much more to offer. This you will discover by the third track, “The Third Day of a Seven Day Binge”, where we are reminded that Manson is a master of symbolism and word-play. The bluesy theme is also brought back, and really just a cool vibe is set by the song.
“Mephistopheles of Los Angeles” is a track that did not capture my attention too much, but I praise it as it is the hardest rocking song on the record so far, and possibly the entire album. The intro to “Warship my Wreck” is quite wicked, and the track is somewhat reminiscent of Manson’s Mechanical Animals era.
The next to stand out to me is “Cupid Carries a Gun”. I have few words to describe the lyrics, besides the fact that they feel very authentic. You can feel the realness of the track in general in creating this sort of “evil” tone. The record then closes on a slow, rock & roll note with “Odds of Even”. This song is capable of taking your mind to a dark, mysterious place (that is, if you are into that sort of thing).
In conclusion, the record is worth at least a listen, as long as one does not expect another “Antichrist Superstar”. It’s a good album that would serve as great background in the process of committing dangerous, risky, or illegal activity, with its old-school rock & blues vibe. The Pale Emperor is a must for any Manson fan.
Photo Source: Rollingstones.com