Marilyn Manson is one of my favorite poets and my absolute favorite performer. His lyrics are clever and they tell a story. The story of Mansons life experiences. To me a new Manson album is a need to have the moment it's for sale. I therefore pre-booked his new album 'The High End of Low' from my cd supplier and received it the day it was released.
Think 'The Wall' and think 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars' - 2 masterpieces in clever lyrics and storytelling - and you know what Manson would like to achieve.
The glam album 'Mecanical Animals' was Mansons reaction to Hollywood. - Even though his primary goal always was to be famous, he realised all the fakeness of Hollywood, and was afraid to be swallowed by it.
My favorite album so far has been 'Holy Wood'. An album which concentrates on Mansons thoughts and personal experiences in relation to the Columbine tragedy, where he was pointed out as a scapegoat. 'Holy Wood' is the story of a man who has lost his last illusions and beliefs.
'The Golden Age of Grotesque' leads us into the dark sides of the entertainment industry, wrapped in kabaret performance.
At 'Eat Me Drink Me' Manson has reached the age where most people begin to question their lives and their values in more mature terms. He experiences the powers of love in the strongest shapes and forms.
Before the release of 'The High End of Low', Manson offered us 30 seconds of all songs included at the album at his myspace site. He also put out the track 'We're from America' for download at his website. The sound on 'We're from America' is glammish, but the lyrics are great. Typical Manson sarcasms thrown into our faces.
The next thing we got was the video version of 'Arma-godd**n-motherf**kin-geddon'. Wrapped in dark karbaret performance, Manson describes his own midd-life crisis, his divorce, how he felt about being laughed out in the medias, and how he felt about being pointed out as the guilty part of the marriage breakdown. In the lyrics he writes:
I wish I was still dead
but the TV said
it's just a "tropical depression"
call my dealer or my lawyer
"we've got a situation"
'Four Rusted Horses' is a superb blues song. Sharp lyrics about refusing to be commercialized despite of being the very symbol of commercialization. Wonderful music. The keyboard has a cello sound emphasizing the ludicrous ‘you can’t take this from me – forbidden in heaven – useless in hell’ scream stuck in his throat
Other favorites are 'Into The Fire', the attempted rap song ‘WOW’, ‘Wight Spider’ and the beautiful, beautiful love song 'Running To The Edge Of The World', in my opinion the best song Manson has ever written. This song is about how hate and pre-conceived ideas disseminated through the media can compel a man to give up what he loves most of all.
I had no choice
I erased the debt of our family
I let you say goodbye
with lips like dynamite
turned their backs
because they knew
when we held on tight
to each other
that we were something fatal
that fell into the wrong hands
But sometimes hate is not enough
to turn this all to ashes
together as one
against all others
break all of their wings and
make sure it crashes
We're running to the edge of the world
running running away
we're running to the edge of the world
but I don't know if the world will end today
The song is not telling the story in chronological order. It's written like 'Pulp Fiction'. It's powerful and at the same time heartbreaking.
'I Wanna Kill You Like They Do In The Movies' is an experiment. The tracks lasts for more than 9 minutes. But this symbolizes Mansons life as one long on-stage performance in the limelight. The lyrics describe the hypocrisy of his own life.
When hearing the song ‘WOW’, my first thought was that it was very strange. It’s partly a rap song with verses being performed in rap form but the chorus is just normal singing. However, reading the lyrics a little closer made me realize that the rap attempt is Mansons answer to his wifes orders to him to change. By rapping the verses (and it really is rap from a rapper with no rap talent) he explains why changing is not an option.
Marilyn Manson started out as a performer critical to society. Over the years his focus has changed to a more critical attitude to himself and to the industry he's representing.
His character is a brand - created by himself. By outragous behaviour he got attention from the media and from the audience. One could get the idea that he's completely out of control, but anyone who has experienced Marilyn Manson face to face will know that everything he does is carefully considered and prepared. -
And that he always meets peoples expectations for him to behave bad.
With this album he sends out a signal. He refered to it as the Beginning and the End. It feels as if he would like to be recognized and remembered for his work - not for the character he's playing.
Personally, I think The High End Of Low is the best album Marilyn Manson ever made. The reason why it has taken me a week to write these lines is, that in order to understand the album, I had to listen to it a number of times, read the lyrics carefully and think. Because nothing is what it first appears to be.