Marilyn Manson – Born Villain


Review by Jason Guest

Album number eight and the first on his own label, ‘Hell’, the short film promo directed by Shia LaBeouf for Born Villain features all of those familiar grotesques we’ve come to expect from his ugliness, the pope of provocation. Add a few lines from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the god of fuck’s usual controversial topics for lyrics and his song remains the same. Once potent, Marilyn Manson’s latest album arrives at a time where everything has been done, said, seen and heard – granted, a fair portion of it by him – and is only a click away and so lacks the impact it may once have had, say, ten years ago. His artistic arc has been more a downward spiral, his work become a commodity gleefully consumed by white, middle class teens wanting little more than to piss their parents off. Born Villain sees MM thankfully saved from hitting rock bottom – artistically speaking of course – but as for whether it’s returned him to his former gory glory, not even close. Twiggy Ramirez’s music recalls the scratched industrial dance of Portait of an American Family and Antichrist Superstar tainted with the soiled love of Mechanical Animals and Holy Wood and provides a suitably dirty backing track to the main man’s idiosyncratic vocal style. Where the merest mention of Marilyn Manson’s name stirred the Christians and the conservatives from their complacent slumber, what now stands before us is but a narcissistic introspective meditation into the reasons for the God of Fuck’s failures.

Controversy is an easy beast to court but Brian and the band once had something important to say and possessed a combined musical and intellectual capacity that raised them far above the herd. There are more than a few glimpses of that here but this remains another one of those “more of the same” records that does little to assuage the idea that Manson’s best work is behind him. This will no doubt satisfy ardent fans – and those wishing to piss their folks off – but will do little to attract either new fans or conjure up the kind of storm he once perched himself in the centre of.

6 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Hey, Cruel World
  2. No Reflection
  3. Pistol Whipped
  4. Overneath The Path Of Misery
  5. Slo-Mo-Motion
  6. The Gardener
  7. The Flowers Of Evil
  8. Children Of Cain
  9. Disengaged
  10. Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms
  11. Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day
  12. Born Villain
  13. Breaking The Same Old Ground
  14. You’re So Vain (featuring Johnny Depp on guitar)



  1. Really enjoyable review, Jason. I’m quite interested to hear the album, though what you’ve written seems to confirm the suspicions I already had about it!

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