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Thread: Retrospective: Born Villain

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    Default Retrospective: Born Villain

    Over recent weeks, Born Villain seems to have been discussed an awful lot on Provider Module, and not all of it has been positive. Now, there's no right or wrong opinion for an album, if you love it, good for you, if not, then that's fine as well. I am however interested in what generates these opinions.
    It's been just over four years since the album was released, it was three years in gestation, and Manson discussed writing new material during the tour for The High End Of Low over seven years ago, so generally it's no longer a 'new' album. For whatever reason, I've still not found the 'groove' with The Pale Emperor. It's a brilliant album, but perhaps a little like EAT ME, DRINK ME and Portrait Of An American Family, it's taken longer to get to grips with. Born Villain and The High End Of Low were very different, I immediately accessed and loved the content on both, although with Born Villain, it was nice to listen to a collection of emotions and visceral music that doesn't necessarily reflect anything I think or feel all the time.

    For me, it's a great, concise, powerful little album. Similar perhaps to Diamond Dogs, The Idiot, or Sleeping With Ghosts, it just sort of crept up. A Marilyn Manson album, but not attached to any major life event of his, or even really any larger worldwide events. It simply begins, discusses human behaviour, and does what it says on the tin. I love the swagger of the whole thing, it's very glamourous, but filthy at the same time. The constant references to cinema, death, theatre and religion throughout are like ticked 'Manson' boxes, but not really tied down to any previous commentaries he's made. It's a little like Holy Wood's invective, but unlike that record it doesn't make you question humanity. Every millisecond of Holy Wood reminds you how futile the human experience is, it literally screams at you about injustice and degradation, while Born Villain achieves the same, but with... no reason.

    Anyway, play nice, maybe develop some new ideas about the album, I look forward to reading everyone's thoughts now it's had a few years to settle into the Manson canon.

  2. #2

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    For me, it's as simple as the musical content.
    The lyrics may be complex, but much like the tour that followed, the music is average and uninspired.
    At times, the album comes across as if it were tracked during the demo stages of composition.
    "Overneath The Path Of Misery" would have to be my favorite from the album.

    I will say this...
    The other night I listened to "Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon" and "No Reflection" back to back,
    And for the first time I realized how soulless and robotic the former is in comparison.
    The programmable, almost danceable approach doesn't really help matters much,
    Although I still prefer the majority of "The High End Of Low" over the majority of "Born Villain".

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    Looking at everything post GAOG, I feel more in common between EMDM and TPE then the albums in between. They have two different takes on the blues-guitar, but there is a cohesion as an album that creates what might be called "the era". The High End of Low and Born Villain remind me more of Portrait where there are connections thru-out but there's that bit of "collection of songs" feel as a whole. Which is not bad, I think THEOL covers more musical territory than any MM album. We've talked about the desert rock sound and it's stoney atmosphere. While the music goes in a handful of directions I think Manson rather than telling a story is capturing a moment in time. There is an isolation, a tormented scream that bleeds even on the most "soft/melodic" tracks. It's deep in mood, and it's a pretty dark album. It's heavy in weight vs agrro-riffs.

    Born Villain, is very protopunk electro that makes it interesting people who liked Portrait don't like this album more. Overneath is not far away from Cake and Sodomy but way more industrial almost like the SLC remixes. Fred mentioned what became Slo-Mo-Tion was the result of an improv jam and I like that quality on the album where it's very off the cuff. It's got a stepped up production from THEOL which was much more organic where as BV actually has a good amount of synths/electro drums/sound design/textures thru out. All over the album there is manipulations of the instruments, the synths, the little background textures that makes it a cool listen with good headphones/setup.

    And The Born Villain trailer is probably one of my favorite Manson videos to date. I think they could have edited a proper music video for Overneath with that and some supplemental band footage and it would have been solid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AStrangeGay View Post
    For me, it's as simple as the musical content.
    The lyrics may be complex, but much like the tour that followed, the music is average and uninspired.
    At times, the album comes across as if it were tracked during the demo stages of composition.
    Would you feel the same if there were less tracks on the album?

    I think many people are fond of The Pale Emperor because much like EAT ME, DRINK ME it isn't particularly long. Less than fifteen tracks hitting the point home and doing their job. Admittedly there are maybe three songs on Born Villain that don't add or subtract anything from its atmosphere, perhaps Disengaged, The Gardener, and Breaking The Same Old Ground. The latter two songs are rather good in their own right, I just think the point Born Villain drove towards was already reached on the title track, and ...Ground simply extends what was already there.

    The music can seem simple at times, but - to me at least - that could just be because of how minimal the album was in delivery and aesthetic. No Reflection and Overneath... aren't particularly complex musically, but they seemed more so because of their accompanying videos (Born Villain trailer in case of the latter). Conversely, when I first heard Slo-Mo-Tion I didn't feel it was particularly layered, but it seems much more so having seen the video and spending more time with the song.
    Again, everyone might hear something different, but there's a shit-load going on during tracks like Pistol Whipped, ...Misery, The Flowers Of Evil, Children Of Cain and the title song. You can tell Twiggy had gotten sober around the time he wrote the guitar as well, because it sounds less meandering, more mechanised, dominant even.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cringeon View Post
    Born Villain, is very protopunk electro that makes it interesting people who liked Portrait don't like this album more.
    I'm hearing real Mister Superstar, Angel With The Scabbed Wings and Little Horn vibes listening to it today.

  5. #5

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    BORN VILLAIN was a lot more fun than THE HIGH END OF LOW, yet as uninspired and disposable as the latter. THE PALE EMPEROR was MM's best output since HOLY WOOD. I can't help but think that MM needs Tyler Bates, not Twiggy.

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    If you like BV, great. I'm not saying you're wrong for enjoying something, but here's my take on it.

    It's incredibly lazy. Like. Unfathomably lazy. "Breaking the Same Old Ground" has STOCK HUMMING in it. I used to mess around with stuff like that on Goldwave when I was 12. The music itself is such a step down from THEOL and even Goon Moon standards.

    The drums sound like those drums that you can download on a phone app and play. There's weird breathing in "Children of Cain" that would have taken them three seconds to remove that annoys the shit out of me.

    Manson's voice is very weak on this album. It sounds strained and tired. Know why? It's a "live" album. The absolute stupidest shit they did on THEOL and BV. "Flowers of Evil" is by far the worst vocal performance he's ever given on an album.

    There's some good stuff on BV, but even the small things like hiring Dean Karr only to turn around and use his girlfriend's shitty photo as the album cover instead just rubs me the wrong way.

    It annoyed me so much that I made this to replace the cover:


    However. He turned around and released TPE which I feel is his best work since 2000. Though, I'm not shitting on GAOG and EMDM as I feel those are both greatly underappreciated albums. I've also said before that I think "Fall of the House of Death" is the strongest vocal performance he's ever given on album. Twiggy's got his place in the band, but if he's just going to do complacent shit for a paycheck and not push Manson to work harder, then maybe it's for the best that Tyler took the reigns. He made Manson re-record takes. None of that stupid "live album" shit happened on TPE and MM gave some of his best vocal performances on an album thanks to it.

    I'm glad that Tyler and Twiggy are working together this time. Twiggy is a fantastic bassist and I look forward to seeing what they can do.
    Last edited by mr.svperstar13; 06-07-2016 at 12:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Svperstar13 View Post
    It's incredibly lazy. Like. Unfathomably lazy. "Breaking the Same Old Ground" has STOCK HUMMING in it. I used to mess around with stuff like that on Goldwave when I was 12. The music itself is such a step down from THEOL and even Goon Moon standards.
    MM needs a record producer and creative co-conspirator who pushes him forward. Twiggy knew how to deliver as long as there were other formidable musicians involved (John 5, Pogo, Trent Reznor).

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    What still leaves me perplexed is how everyone loved this album when it was released, but now everyone seems to hate it. But the same thing happened with every album since Holy Wood. I think BV is a decent album, except for the flowers of evil and another cover. There are tracks on this album that are up there in the Manson catalog "hey, cruel world"' "lay down your god damn arms", "born villain." The only negative I have is that the album should have ended with the title track.

  9. #9
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    Still the best lyrically. Idc about the music production or whatever. Sounds like music to me.
    So many stars above our heads and yet we choose to starve. So many stones out there to turn and yet we choose to ignore. Thousands I wish to corrupt, their sons I seek to mislead. Damned forever be your dreams, I reject my destiny.

    Like the first of sins there is no one to blame, the earth grew wet on the seventh day. And we sit down for a feast of hate, we eat each other in a twist of fate.

  10. #10
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    I am still very excited by this album. Sounds so great on headphones.It's all about where you are coming from. I can see that to lots of fans it is all about comparing it to other Mar1lyn Man5on albums. That's fine. But again it all has to do with where you are coming from.

    It is so hard for me to fucking talk about Rock n Roll with anyone. Conversation might be going like - "Hey do love the new Foo Fighters album or what?!" Uhhmm no. Not feeling it actually at all. "What the fuck man ! " ... LOL Do You love the first Velvet Underground album? You ever get lost listening to The Stooges Man?! Of course they don't. Am i being pretensious ?? I don't really think so .. I just have different taste in sounds. I love the records by Chuck Berry , Bo Diddley , Elvis Presley & My all time favorite group of musicians is Sonic Youth.

    What's all this have to do with BornVillain? I don't really know , it is my life & that record has changed it. Mar1lyn Man5on playing loud noisy electric guitar thrills me & not because i am a fucking fanatic LOL'Ss ( and theirs so many classic weirdo punk recordings with the singer breathing lol its awesome whatever )

    If You want to pretend this album doesn't exist , so be it. Good LuCk' but I highly recommend you adventure into strange muscik/anti-music territory & listen to as many Rock n Roll records as You can. Amateur or not. Who gives a FuCk' .. \ Young , High & in Love - Two Faced Egg (TwentyThree)
    "Fake realities will create fake humans. Or, fake humans will generate fake realities and sell them to other humans, turning them, eventually, into forgeries of themself" -Philip K. Dick

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