Marilyn Manson: Attempted Resurrection
Marilyn Manson is back with Born Villain. This is the title of his new album, and Manson has recently posted a new video to promote the album, which was directed by Shia LeBeouf. Wow, what an odd combination! Such an odd couple, ‘A Partnership Made in Hell?’ - this is just some of the stuff the media have been saying about this collaboration, especially because the video features various perversions, elements of snuff, quotes from Shakespeare and Greek mythology, blood and needles. Mr. Manson, well done. However, I’m not buying this gimmick.
(Pictured above: Manson during his rise to superstardom, 1996-1997)
The reason why Manson decided to collaborate with LeBeouf, who has recently become the topic of ‘why is this dude famous’ online discussions and articles might not seem clear at first, but it’s the same reason why Manson starred in the movie Party Monster (2003) with Seth Green and Macaulay Culkin: to get the media’s attention by pairing up with an unlikely artistic ally. Back then, the news of Manson and Culkin starring in a film together was a shocker, and that’s exactly what Manson does to promote himself – shock people. In 2003, every other article about the movie mentioned Culkin teaching Manson, who was playing a cross-dresser, how to smoke. How shocking!
Now, years later, Manson is teaming up with LeBeouf, who doesn’t seem to have any appeal right now, as the media have been loosing interest in him after two infamous sequels, of Indiana Jones (described brilliantly by South Park) and Wall Street. Will it result in success? Well, they have both managed to get some attention, for starters. For LeBeouf, this could mean some indie projects or some new respect by the more artistically inclined segment of the movie industry. Manson has to present a brilliant album in order to succeed, and this is something he hasn’t done in years.
My opinion is that Manson should have taken a break after Holy Wood (2000) to paint, write essays and most importantly – do stand up comedy. Manson is smart, eloquent and quite funny; he could have delivered material reminiscent of George Carlin. Instead, he chose to milk the music cow dry, despite being low on creativity. He devoted the next couple of years to announcing projects that were never made, including a concept album and a movement called Celebritarianism, which never came to be, despite various hypes, plugs and cryptic messages. Crucial band members left, first Twiggy Ramirez who joined A Perfect Circle, then John 5 – one of the greatest living guitar players – quit the band over disputes, co-founder Pogo left on a bad note and a lawsuit about payments, and even Gidget Gein left. Okay, Twiggy came back in 2008 to work on The High End of Low album, which basically failed, but the Manson/Twiggy bromance continued.
So now Manson is back to shock tactics, using celebrities whose celebrity status is in peril to get the media’s attention. Artistically, this Born Villain project needs substance in order to be actual art and have artistic value. Right now, it seems more like pseudo art aimed at Manson’s true believers, those who follow him without doubt, with Manson’s main goal being profit. Time will tell, but after years of announcing projects and not delivering them, lots of Absinthe, lousy albums and forced controversial statements, I’m kind of tired. I don’t know if I have the strength to listen to another Marilyn Manson album about scars, drugs, scars, Christ, Kennedy, scars, and Manson being the cursed chosen one savior of art. You cannot recreate the same hype Antichrist Superstar had. What people need is good music, and good music is made with honesty.
Vuk Oreb, Rad Recorder