Special thanks goes out to Ideology of Madness for giving me a soapbox here. Most of my mental diarrhea gets spewed out over on The Bear Swarm! Podcast but there are a few topics that I just don’t bring up over there. Not because I’m embarrassed by them, but its just not the right place. You might ask, what am I writing about? That is a great question. I listen to a lot of music. I’m not a musician or a music critic, I’m just a guy who likes music. Every morning I make sure I have some fresh stuff on my MP3 player for my drive into and back from work. I load up songs on my laptop to play during gaming. I even have speakers in my bathroom for while I shower.
All this brings me to one point, I’m constantly digging for something new. Well, at least something new to me. In these articles you can expect to see me rant about things I don’t like, gush about the things I do, and generally just thrust my ideas in your face. That is the total concept behind this column. A place for one man to tell you how he feels about music.
Without further ado, lets launch into the first actual article.
What the hell happened to Marilyn Manson? When I was in High School the guy was the shock rocker for my generation. Akin, at least in my mind, to Alice Cooper, GWAR, or GG Allin. I stopped following him shortly after Holy Wood. I felt that it was nothing more then a desperate attempt to get back at to Antichrist Superstar, that being the album that launched him to fame in the first place. For me, good Manson might have ended sometime after Antichrist but he was at his best with Portrait of an American Family. Just an aside, Mechanical Animals was terrible.
When I was at the Mall, a place I tend to avoid normally but has the closest Borders bookstore to my apartment, I saw signs at Hot Topic promoting his latest album. I did my research and read that The High End of Low is a return to a darker, more sinister Manson. I wasn’t terribly surprised since it seems like the guy has been trying to recapture his fifteen minutes of Antichrist stardom for the last ten years. I’ll admit that I haven’t listened to The Golden Age of Grotesque or Eat Me, Drink Me so that might not be a completely inaccurate depiction of his work. At least its my perception of it.
I picked up The High End of Low and gave it a listen since I’m always hoping to hear good music. Unfortunately this album isn’t it. Granted, Arma-God Damn-Mother Fuckin’-Geddon is catchy. In fact, I found myself mumbling the chorus this morning but its not catchy in a good way. Its pop catchy. Its Britney Spears catchy. I’m not sure if you’ve heard If U Seek Amy, but that is about the same sound as this latest Manson endeavor. For me the breaking point on The High End of Low came with the song WOW. In a mechanical tone that reminded me of a computer reading Ben Stein‘s script for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Manson “sings”:
There’s a word that’s like you because it can be a noun, a verb, a exclamation or the thing I say when something is unbelievable. when I’m not able to believe how unbelievably unbelievable that you believe you could not be-leavable. That’s when I have to say..
Those are Marilyn Mason lyrics? Apparently so. The rest of the song tells a sordid tale about a woman who wants to change him but he’s Marilyn-God Damn-Mother Fuckin’-Manson. That might only be my perception so I went over to one of my personal favorite websites, SongMeanings.net, to see what other people were saying. The few posts that weren’t “I luvs dis songs!” said that its about not taking lovers seriously and not respecting the person your with. One person even claims its autobiographical about his relationship with Dita Von Teese. To me, it sounds like crappy High School Goth poetry.
Manson’s lost his edge. That’s really all it is anymore. This new band is far from the group I originally enjoyed. With the departure of Madonna Wayne Gacy it leaves Marilyn Manson as the only remaining original member of the band. Remember kids, Portrait of an American Family had Gidget Gein on bass for production, not Twiggy Ramirez. I wonder if that’s why Portrait had better bass lines… Either way, I used to always say that Marilyn Manson was going to be the next Alice Cooper, turning into a born again Christian golfer when he’s in his fifties. Now I look at Manson and see a different shock rocker in his future, Ozzy Osbourne. Someone who keeps turning out more and more watered down music year after year until he lands his own reality show and becomes a laughing stock.