(Possibly contains spoilers – if so, they’re fairly vague, I’m just expressing my current opinion.)
Set to be officially released on May 1st, I sincerely believe Born Villain is on par with Marilyn Mansons best works of the past, and may well exceed them. I listened to the previews on iTunes before they were taken down, then listened to the full album thanks to whoever uploaded it to MediaFire after the Japan release, and it seems as though it’s something new, but with elements from each of his best albums, or else the best aspects of his so-called ‘lesser’ works.
Now to clarify, I personally liked Eat Me, Drink Me and The High End of Low; they were different than the albums preceding them… different, but not bad albums. Other people look at these as low points in his career though, so by “best”, I mean Portrait of an American Family, Antichrist Superstar, Mechanical Animals, Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death), and The Golden Age of Grotesque.
Anyways, I like all of the songs on Born Villain. For me, Hey Cruel World…, The Gardener, The Flowers of Evil, Children of Cain, Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day, Born Villain, and Breaking the Same Old Ground are all favorites. The other ones are awesome too in my opinion, just a little (tiny bit) less so. At least at this particular moment – it shifts, depends on the mood I’m in, what I’m doing… things like that.
Hey Cruel World… seems like a great opening, and it’s not at all like some of the intro songs of previous albums. Portrait has Prelude (The Family Trip), Holy Wood has GodEatGod, and The Golden Age has Thaeter, but Born Villain starts off with a what I feel is a pretty hard-hitting song. That’s not unprecedented though, Irresponsible Hate Anthem, Great Big White World, and If I Was Your Vampire pretty much just jumped right into things.
The “Creator, Preserver, Destroyer” line is something I’ve seen people relate to the triptych. Creator to Holy Wood, Preserver to Mechanical Animals, and Destroyer to Antichrist Superstar… I don’t know if that was the intention, but I can kind of see it as a fair interpretation.
It’s followed by No Reflection…
I know just enough about music – which isn’t much – to think the Vrenna was probably a big help to the resurgence of subtle, underlying sonic elements, layers and layers of clever accentuations and tones, noises and pitch, etc. And what I’ve heard has, for me, validated Manson’s claim in a recent interview of the album being unafraid to explore in a way akin to the adventurous approach of Portrait.
(And fyi, I’m going to be buying the CD, so no, I don’t feel guilty for listening to the leaks; and no, I don’t have the link.)
(Written April 13th, 2012 // Unfinished and Abandoned in Favor of a simpler ‘review’: Born Villain)