#29: Marilyn Manson – Mechanical Animals (1998)
Even at his very best Marilyn Manson sucks the biscuit as far as MATT KELLY is concerned. Read on to find out why.
I never liked Marilyn Manson. I tried to. I felt like I should, given the premise of Depeche Mode, Alice Cooper and Nine Inch Nails, all acts I liked, being put in a blender. Yet even this, Manson’s most acclaimed album, is a chore for me.
The biggest reason is Brian Warner’s voice, which has the same affected bitterness and unpleasant tone on every song, all the time, consistently failing to convey any hooks or appealing/resonant emotion.
The album begins dreadfully with two dreary monochrome stinkers in ‘Great Big White World’ and ‘The Dope Show’ and it blows my mind that the latter (imagine if glam rock had all the fun taken out of it) was a hit.
However, the band is not talentless and there are moments where they show why they were a thing. Track after track of plodding mid-tempo industrial metal wears a listener down, but when they wake up and put a bit of pep in their step like ‘Rock Is Dead’ things are more tolerable – though Warner’s grating vocals on the verses remain an issue.
‘The Speed Of Pain’ which begins acoustic before turning into gospel rock hints at more interesting, rewarding directions. But these moments aren’t worth enduring the rest of the record for.
At over an hour of humourless, grey edgelordery, MA is tiresome and stands exposed as less of a musical event and more a badge used by teens of the time to display how “not like the other boys/girls” they were.
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