Marilyn Manson is one of the most popular bands among everyone. Everyone has heard of this band. If you are a teenager, your parents know who Manson is. If you are a parent, your teenager know who Manson is. Not by the music, but by the pop culture status of the band. They were a very controversial band back in the day, and Manson wants that back. However, Manson does still cause some stir in the business--they had to change the album cover from thorns to glow sticks because it refered to Jesus Christ & also, they had to change one song's title which I will get to later. This album will mark Manson's 8th studio record & they are still here! Well, Brian is still here anyways.
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The High End of Low is a record that partially shows why we loved Manson in the first place. Antichrist Superstar is Manson's definitive record. It was a very raw, in your face, anguish piece of history. Although, Manson isn't quite there on this record, there are definitely songs on here that refer to the power of that. For an example, the lead single, Arma-godd**n-motherf**kin-geddon is a pure rock anthem. Like found in a few of Manson's past good records, Geddon is a catchy, raw effort that has Manson's vocals demanding your attention & more than likely, you'll come out satisfied. The second single, We're From America also follows that formula. A rock anthem with a simple, yet catchy chorus where Manson's scratchy howls drool on this track. A track that I think should be the next single is Pretty As A ($) which they changed the title from Pretty As A Swastika. This piece actually has more of an Antichrist feel; the bridge has that anguish we loved from Manson back in the 90's as he growls out.."Let me show you where it hurts!"
A few other good tracks that would be compared to ones on Manson's "Holywood" record. Leave A Scar is a short piece, but it's definitely good. The production is a little upbeat for Manson, but as soon as he speaks, that "happy side" is gone. Devour is an amazing track; it starts off slow & gentle with a soft guitar & Manson's low growls, but as soon as the 2-minute mark hits...it has an amazing middle act. Words can't explain it. Blank & White is another really good track. It is a political piece with an anthem chorus that consists of .."Give me a picket sign, make it blank & white, we are gonna need them where we are going tonight."
Now, the final comparison of High End of Low, there are a decent amount of tracks that are similar to either Manson's "Mechanical Animals" record or "Eat Me, Drink Me" record. A prime example is Wight Spider. It has that empty feel to it, even on the screechy chorus. To me, it isn't as memorable, but that doesn't mean I will not listen to it as it does feature a pieces of incredible Manson vocals. Running To The Edge Of The World is a beautiful track that features Manson over an acoustic guitar. Tracks like this show that Manson also wants to show his vocal side & not just his raw, emotional vocals. This is a straight Mechanical Animals feel. It's hollow by Manson's emotionless vocals & it doesn't want to be powerful. I like it actually. Into The Fire features Manson over a piano. Yes, can you believe it? It is another track that Manson wants his vocals to really shine. It isn't a bad track at all either. Very emotional vocals by Manson which I give big props to. Unkillable Monster has an empty production, but by the beat of it & how well it sounds with Manson's vocals, it doesn't feel empty. Is that even possible? A decent track with a good message. I would listen to it again.
Now, there are a few tracks that just can't be categorized because Manson does have a new side on this album. An example? Sure! I Have To Look Up Just To See Hell is a unique track & it does kind of scare me. Manson's vocals are snarling, distorted & incredible creepy. It is actually a pretty decent new side of Manson. One of my all-time favorites on this record, WOW is a very dark, creepy love song. It's definitely one of those Manson tracks that need to be heard to believed. It's not catchy, but it's straightforward & simple enough to be captivated by it when Manson snarls out..."Wooooooowwww" Four Rusted Horses is another unique track. It doesn't have a good chorus to sing to, but the lyrics are very dark. The production is very creepy with a "Hills Have Eyes" warning hum. A 9-minute track, I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies is a track that is incredibly repetitive. If it was narrowed down to 4 minutes, it would be decent. It has a good message(not violence, but sex. Of course, it's Manson!) & the vocals aren't bad by Manson. It's just too long.
High End Of Low is actually a really good effort from Manson. Many people wouldn't think so because of Manson's "Eat Me, Drink Me" record, but this album is really good. Twiggy is back with Manson on it which is a plus. He co-produced & written with Manson & it definitely shows. This album is more polished & more well-directed. I really think any Manson fan, whether you like Manson's old stuff like "Portrait.." to "Antichrist Superstar", there is something here for you. For those who liked Manson's light side such as albums like, "Mechanical Animals" to "Eat Me, Drink Me", there is something here for you. Also, if you want to hear his new side as well, it is definitely a treat. For as long as I have been a Manson fan, I am proud of this album. Manson has come back with Twiggy to prove that Manson isn't dead.
2. Pretty As A ($)
3. Leave A Scar
4. Four Rusted Horses
6. Blank & White
7. Running To The Edge Of The World
8. I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies
10. Wight Spider
11. Unkillable Monster
12. We're From America
13. I Have To Look Up Just To See Hell
14. Into The Fire