Marilyn Manson – Born Villain
Marilyn Manson was a force to be reckoned with back in the 1990s, but despite being hailed as a ‘comeback’ album by Manson himself, Born Villain does nothing to halt his decade-long skid. It may not be as egregiously awful as 2009’s The High End of Low, but it is built on a similarly shaky foundation of second-hand riffs, unintentionally camp vocals and sampled drum hits – expertly programmed to simulate an acoustic kit as played by a dickless robot.
The only moment of real emotional electricity comes courtesy of No Reflection’s piledriving chorus; the lyrics “I don’t know which me that I love/got no reflection” providing a brief but compelling moment of vulnerability. Given how staid and predictable most of Born Villain sounds, you’d be forgiven for taking the album’s title as a tacit admission that Manson has simply given up on the idea of trying to evolve as an artist.