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Thread: Favourite vocal moments?

  1. #1
    Enname's Avatar
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    Default Favourite vocal moments?

    Instead of doing my translation work this morning, I wandered a bit aimlessly through some old interviews and reviews searching for some sort of vague discussion of Manson as a vocalist. As always, I kept hitting upon various reviewers incorporating a variety of phrases, such as, 'although never a strong singer, Brian Warner...' or, 'while hes never sported the strongest voice, Manson has the inflection of a trained actor.' This particular grudging acknowledgement has always bemused me, because if there is one thing he is a strong singer. Okay, sure, he is not a technical or trained singer, but if I wanted that I could go just about anywhere else. If I want tone, emotional weight, saturation and a certain playfulness in intonation ... then there are few other places to go. Indeed, one issue with listening to a record too often is that some singers feel 'pale' afterwards.

    One of the primary reasons I always come back to Marilyn Manson (band and individual) is the vocal sound. The is an inherent contradiction between what he can load it with in terms of inflection, intensity, vibrato, tone, and bending his voice around to create soundscapes, while completely demolishing everything. I enjoy enormously his 'heyday', but because I am a ghoul, I also enjoy the rare chance to watch the slow decline and fall of a voice. At all points there is a particular tension there between a knife edge between whether an open vibrato will win over closed off vocal chords, or whether he will be able to find and hold the mid-range notes at all, or just have them crack wide open. It is lovely, and has me always searching for those moments to hear them properly.

    Anyway, tl;dr. The point is, while there are a number of threads dedicated to a more general 'favourite moments', I wanted to start one which is about favourite vocal moments from Marilyn Manson. It can be anything: a whole song, a fragment, a vocal layer or distortion, a live performance, whatever.

    I'll start, with the completely arbitrary number of five:

    1. Born Again - 'I'll put down you disco, and take your heart away, I was born again' - the last repeat of this, right at the end of each phrase instead of letting lightening off, he pushes it down and squeezes each against the palette and holds. Lovely.
    2. Any version of the Nobodies, but it is perhaps clearer in the acoustic - 2.56 onwards with the vibrato coming out and then being squeezed down from 3.09.
    3. Guns, God and Government tour recording - Great Big White World without so many of the layers, in particular the second half in the chorus. Don't care if it is a mix of live, or not, but the sound from 'my stitches itch' is just half swallowed and glorious.
    4. Every single note break on the Pale Emperor, including all the ones he fails to get in Warship My Wreck and the acoustics. If his voice has to be destroyed, then that is how it should sound (please note, I did say I am a ghoul).
    5. Mister Superstar, the entire escalation and slow twisting in tone from the start to the final parts. Moving from light and almost humorous to angrier and pushier. I especially like the inflection on 'prayers.'
    Quid ignorantia sit multi ignorant.

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  3. #2
    digging too deep TheDrugsLikeMe's Avatar
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    Whenever he nails the scream in Great Big White World I get kinda chills sometimes, wish the album version had it but that's what the live album is for I guess.

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  5. #3

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    I actually agree with the bits you quoted. He's not a strong singer, but he's a great vocalist and that "while he’s never sported the strongest voice, Manson has the inflection of a trained actor." is particularly apt, I think. He's able to swing through a wide range of emotions at the drop of a dime and in such a way that you absolutely believe in it - no question.

    For me the one that comes immediately to mind is on the second verse of the live acoustic version The Last Day on Earth, the "And I'm so empty here without you, I know they want me dead" He brings a ton of emotion into the end of that verse with his scream.

    While he's well known for the complete and utter rage and anger he can bring to songs, I think he's also particularly well suited to bringing a sense of desperation and desolation, as in Minute of Decay, Tourniquet, Speed of Pain, Fundamentally Loathsome and so many others.

  6. #4

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    four-threee-twoooo-ooooonnee-*indescribably beautiful orgasmic annihilation of the soul*

    case closed in my books.

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  8. #5
    Dr. Cockandballs Para-Noir's Avatar
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    The outro.

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  10. #6

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    You drained my heart
    AND MADE A SPAAAA-AAAYYYY-YAAADE

    Also "EAT ME, DRINK ME". He sounds wonderfully ghoulish in the chorus.

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  12. #7
    Enname's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaglie View Post
    I actually agree with the bits you quoted. He's not a strong singer, but he's a great vocalist and that "while hes never sported the strongest voice, Manson has the inflection of a trained actor." is particularly apt, I think. He's able to swing through a wide range of emotions at the drop of a dime and in such a way that you absolutely believe in it - no question.....I think he's also particularly well suited to bringing a sense of desperation and desolation, as in Minute of Decay, Tourniquet, Speed of Pain, Fundamentally Loathsome and so many others.
    It is not that I don't agree that he isn't a 'great' technical vocalist, but more with the definition of what makes a 'great' vocalist. I have heard incredible, technical singers who bore me to the point of wanting to stab my eyes out because they can pace technique but everything else is dead and a bit cold. Likewise I've heard truly mediocre singers with thin voices who cannot make a slightly off pitch note sound more than an off pitch note, rather than 'an interesting soundscape of the throat, with vibrato.' Which along with the emotional rollercoaster, is a key part of his vocals - putting aside questions of voice training and blah, it is clearly a choice not to. Even though much of the playing around with vocal fry, chord compression, distortion of sound through mouth shape (filters) ... its experimenting with texture as much as anything else. Reminds me of really experimental singers looking for multiphonics and ways to challenge sound production. Just in a particularly voice ruining way. Being able to both fiddle around with that sort of voice as tool, while maintaining that 'theatrical' intonation, emotional range and also having a decent sounding voice - well, that in my definition is a great vocalist. If not a traditional one. What annoyed me was the implication that there is no thought or talent there, especially given how hard it is to sing around no middle register, or how lovely his tone is in those moments of desolation and bleakness, before the scream picks up the thread and spins it out.

    Without the softer moments there is no contrast.


    Quote Originally Posted by Para-Noir View Post
    The whole thing - utterly thrilling. So much cracking of his voice, but then landing hard on the next part to pull it back, and playing with different intonation.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Overman View Post
    You drained my heart
    AND MADE A SPAAAA-AAAYYYY-YAAADE
    The layering on 'spade' is fabulous - with the higher pitch backing to the main vocal line. And I love the downward falsetto scale that is 'I am diamond...' to the dragging menace of 'ere the substance fades', before the chorus kicks in again with the throat scrape.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheDrugsLikeMe View Post
    Whenever he nails the scream in Great Big White World I get kinda chills sometimes, wish the album version had it but that's what the live album is for I guess.
    You and me both - I will admit to having tracked it down in various different live performances for the different intontations - some are quite angry sounding. Because I am just that weird. :P
    Quid ignorantia sit multi ignorant.

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  14. #8
    Hi, friend BreakingYourMomsOldMound's Avatar
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    Every second of this.

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  16. #9
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    The final war cry of "We eat our young" repeated over the close of We're From America is one I always revisit, it's very powerful.
    "the Serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which
    the LORD god had made
    "

    m e m e n t o m o r i . p o s t m o r t e m


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  18. #10
    Raspberry Syncope FeedYourHead's Avatar
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    Devour (I know lots of people hate this song but I think he goes beyond "vocalist" and breaches the "singer" category with so. much. conviction.)

    "I know I'll miss you if I close my eyes
    But this is loaded with an open film
    I'll see you and I'll blow your heart to pieces
    I will blow your heart to pieces
    I will blow your heart to pieces
    I will blow your heart to pieces
    And I'll love you, if you let me
    And I'll love you, if you won't make me starve
    Oh oh oh oh.....
    My pain's not ashamed to repeat itself
    My pain's not ashamed to repeat itself.

    And of course:
    I didn't have to sell you
    You threw your money in the pissing well
    You do just what they tell you
    REEEEEPPPPPEEEEEEENNNT


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