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Thread: Retrospective: The High End Of Low

  1. #11

    Join Date: 06.21.09
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    I don't understand all of the hate for Unkillable Monster, probably not unlike some of you won't understand my dislike of Four Rusted Horses. I can't tell you how many depressed nights with a glass of whiskey playing this album and getting to Unkillable Monster and hearing the sheer honesty and emotion in his voice when he yells "You never said I'd end up like this..." It's succinct and it's just true. I've felt like this exactly sometimes when I'm in that mindset and I think back on the past. All those promises people make to you that they end up breaking. Anyway, this album certainly captures some powerful feelings. It's one of those few albums (Pink Floyds The Wall is another) that I have to listen to from start to finish. It really is like going on a rollercoaster or some kind of trip...far into the depths of your inner thoughts and feelings...many of those feelings you wish and try miserably to suppress, but this album, like a drug, unlocks the ability to feel all the pain again, and it's not a bad thing. The sort of album you would play while looking at old photos of loved ones that are gone late at night while drunk on whiskey and pills. It takes me to a dark place when I listen to it. In some respect, darker than any of his other albums.

    I think 3rd Day of a 7 Day Binge would have fit nicely on this album. Maybe between Leave a Scar and Four Rusted Horses.

    Yes reckless and careless are two different things. No one could ever say Manson didn't care about this album. Arguably, at least it SOUNDS like he put more thought and effort and care into it than with subsequent albums. But this is only my opinion. Sometimes dark times in life lead to great art. This is one of them.

    Lastly, I can relate with a lot of EMDM. It's not arcane to me. I relate with the mood, vibe of music, and lyrics, to a certain extent anyway. I'm trying to think if there is a SINGLE moment on EMDM that I can't relate....all that comes to mind is the title track. It's a bit more out there in fantasy with Alice In Wonderland inspired lyrics...even though they are just metaphors of course. But who on this planet could not relate to a simple phrase like "Are you the rabbit or the headlights, and is there room in your life for one more break down"? Beautiful car crash symbolism about relationships. Who are you in this relationship? Are the one that will be killed or the one that kills?

    As I said, both of these albums I can relate a lot to in my personal life. It's funny how art imitates life which imitates art. Kubrick had Lolita wear the heart shaped glasses, Evan came to Manson's house wearing them as a sardonic joke, and a young blonde love interest of mine did the exact same thing around the time of this release. This was after getting out of a long relationship with a dark haired girl which was more Dita like....interesting coincidence anyway. Unless you want to say that I'm crazy and have went out of my way to subconsciously create life events that mimic Manson's. I don't think that is the case though. But anyway, it all led me to feeling very close to songs like Vampire, Putting Holes in Happiness, especially Red Carpet Grave.... I've said it a million times, but I feel like the chorus to Red Carpet Grave sums up the entire EMDM album. That, and the Are You The Rabbit? chorus. Heart Shaped Glasses and Evidence are very relatable to me.

    But this was supposed to be about THEOL.

    I'll just say one more thing about THEOL before I submit this post. I love the song "15". I think it's beautiful. I love the music and the lyrics are again "honest". But I'm not sure the song lives up to a title like "15". Given the history of Manson "lore", and the strong subliminal imagery in Mechanical Animals.....I would have thought that if ever a song called "15" was written, it should lyrically capture something more...maybe more MA-esque . I felt like 15 was just another Evan song lyrically, and to have a title like deserved something more in topic. I know Mechanical Animals is a very emotional album....but then again, it's really not. Think of lyrics like in New Model 15, it's sarcastic, fake emotion. Or the chorus to User Friendly. "I'm not in love, but I'm gonna fuck you, till somebody better comes along". Mechanical Animals was, in many ways, not emotional at all (even though it comes across that way). It's an album of social commentary on how fake everything has become and emotionless. I guess I just felt that if ever a song were to arise with a title like 15, it should be exceptionally grandiose and epic. There should be a lot going on in it and it should capture Mechanical Animals or anyway SOME aspects of the triptych. So, my problem is not with the song. I love it, and it's the perfect fitting ending to THEOL. But maybe a different title would have been better? Then again, he says "today is my birthday..." 1, 5, 1969.

  2. #12
    Mexicanfiend's Avatar
    Join Date: 06.20.09
    Location: México City, México.
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    ^^The first time I listened to Unkillable Monster I almost cried; the music felt so simple and powerful at the same time; I felt it was going to be the new Coma White... but there's something about the lyrics that feels sub-par to the rest of the song. Or at least that's how I feel, and how I seem to perceive other people's opinions towards said song.

  3. #13
    The Overman's Avatar
    Join Date: 04.11.12
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    Much of my dislike for the album comes from Manson's lyrics. We've gone from the dark poetry of the last three records to "white cotton panties that are soaked and stained red". This would actually be a pretty decent record without Marilyn Manson on it, and I don't like feeling that way about a Marilyn Manson album.

    "Into The Fire" is almost Aladdin Sane-esque (though what it really reminds me of is Judas Priest's "Epitaph" from Sad Wings Of Destiny), but Manson's wailing and subpar locker room doggerel make it less than the sum of its parts. "Unkillable Monster" already sounds like a bad Meatloaf ballad, but it might have been saved without Manson's warbling. "Running To The Edge Of The World" is pretty good, but man, the lyrics.

    I really don't know what happened here. Manson's writing and singing on both subsequent albums are, if not quite at the height of the Triptych (and much less socially significant), at least much better than this. On Born Villain and The Pale Emperor he sounds like he's aging naturally into his role as veteran rock star. On THEOL it's like he's trying desperately to relive the glory days without remembering why they were glorious.

    A Marilyn Manson album really needs Marilyn Manson to carry it, because the act has never been on the cutting edge of compositional virtuosity. This is a triplets band. If the frontman doesn't bring it, the whole thing suffers badly.
    Last edited by The Overman; 07-09-2016 at 04:55 PM.
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  4. #14
    Absolution's Avatar
    Join Date: 07.07.12
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    3 great songs and 12 bombs. The lyrics are dumb and melodramatic. Basic instrumentation that throws few interesting melodies or sounds at the listener. Terrible vocal performances that clash with the toothless instrumentation. It's a bad record, man.
    Last edited by Absolution; 07-11-2016 at 07:02 PM.

  5. #15
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    The Empirical Guy's Avatar
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    I was one of what seemed like a minority that liked THEOL when it first came out, I connected with it right away. Having experienced for myself being at "the high end of low", I thoroughly enjoy the album. It's not what a lot of people expected, and I can see why, but in a lot of ways it's also the only logical album that could have been made - importantly, it's also an album that I think they had to make.

    Quote Originally Posted by TMC View Post
    I thought about The High End of Low recently and I realized that perhaps the reason why it’s my least favorite of Manson’s albums is that I always had the wrong approach.
    One of the reasons I never fully enjoyed THEOL is how cheap it feels. The photo shoots, the booklet, the production - it all feels like a b-movie, which is surprising considering the quality of Manson's previous works. It feels rushed, the songs often feel like underdeveloped demos.
    Another reason is how chaotic the album feels. Almost as if it tries to be too many things at the same time, at first I even suspected that it’s a collection of b-sides rather than new material. There are some acoustic songs inspired by blues, some bizarre experiments, some very conservative Manson songs in the spirit of Disposable Teens or The Fight Song etc.
    A few weeks ago I gave THEOL a listen for the first time in at least a year and I realized that perhaps that was the whole point.
    The whole era feels very personal, almost as if Manson wanted to invite the listener into the studio, to share his creative process with the audience. The best examples are all the photographs of Manson’s apartment with the manic writings on the wall, the fact that the order in which songs appear on the album is exactly the same as the order in which they were recorded and so on. So perhaps the album is not underdeveloped and lazy but instead was supposed to sound very raw, almost unfinished. If that's the case, the album is definitely a success.
    I'm glad somebody said this. Too often people confuse 'crap' with 'not having the emotional experience to connect with the album'. If you only judge an album by how much it measures up to what you wanted rather than the value of what you were given, you'll never get anything very good. When you realize the point of the record you can start to understand and enjoy it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dipp Six View Post
    I find it odd the above poster didn't like the imagery, as that was one of my favorite parts of it.
    I've always thought that's a great photo.

    If you read his interviews around that time..I dunno, it just feels like he meant every word on this album. Like when "WOW" was designed to be emotionless and hollow. Something we hadn't really seen since ACSS. It's just...I don't know how to put it into words...It's very just "fuck this, I'm done. Fuck you." if that makes sense.
    I've always been somewhat amused by the fact that so many people were annoyed, even legitimately angered, by the video for WOW, even though Manson said the video was meant to be a "torture production technique" - it's supposed to be annoying, almost unbearable to watch, the fact that people were reacting that way was the entire point.
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  6. #16
    Married to Suedehead Shangri-LIE's Avatar
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    To keep it short and simple, aside from Mechanical Animals and The Pale Emperor. I was living and feeling like that before both EMDM and THEOL came out and when the did it validated how I felt. But it's a bad place to be. They're still my number 2 and 3 on my favorite Manson records though.

  7. #17
    Enname's Avatar
    Join Date: 06.04.16
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    I can't come at THEOL from an emotional place because lyrically it doesn't reflect how I've felt during that sort of experience (ACSS usually does) - it is too romantic for me, too warm and vulnerable.*

    However, unlike EMDM, which I find myself ostracised from in its romance and barely listen to, there is something deeply catchy about THEOL, in music and concept. Yes, it is terribly romantic and sweeping with the broadest, sometimes crude brushstrokes, but with a twisted edge that makes me smile. I come back to it when feel like experiencing someone's love songs (and god knows if I find this too much most other options are out!), or find myself humming a fragment of chorus as I walk.

    *I realise this makes me sound like a blasted arctic wasteland.

  8. #18
    mister saint laurent's Avatar
    Join Date: 04.04.12
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    have always liked THEOL and particularly enjoyed all of the acoustic alternate versions.

    with that said, i always thought the album was too long and would have benefited from being trimmed down by 15 mins or so.

    in terms of stand out tracks, my favorites are probably pretty as a swastika, leave a scar, wight spider and into the fire.

  9. #19
    Dr. Cockandballs Para-Noir's Avatar
    Join Date: 06.21.09
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    Productionwise it could have been better I think, but there sure are some gems on this album and I still enjoy listening to it. I wanted to list my favorites, but after looking at the tracklist I realised I actually love most of the album. Depending on my mood though, because it;'s so varied.
    It;s like with EMDM, great to listen to when you're in the same emotional position as Manson when he wrote the lyrics. I was going through a heard breakup when EMDM came out, so I listened to it a lot and could really relate to it.

    I think most fans were disappointed because the hopes were really fucking high after Twiggy's return. I remember being disappointed by IWTKYLTDITM because it was totally different than I expected, but it's one of my favorites now.

    Hope that made sense, kinda drunk

    EDIT: I love WOW, but I really understand people not liking it because it's so fucking out there. But how can you not LOVE this:

    It doesn't matter if you're going to come or just going
    I never wanted you to come here anyway
    There's a word thats 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-lievable
    That's when I have to say
    Last edited by Para-Noir; 07-24-2016 at 07:03 PM.

  10. #20
    Raspberry Syncope FeedYourHead's Avatar
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