Article: Marilyn Manson, Misunderstood?

Marilyn Manson

We’ve all known artists who have pushed the line within music and popularity. Eminem, known for his drug addictions, shocking lyrics, and popular lifestyle. Ozzy Osbourne, biting the head of a bird off at the beginning of his shows. Even Michael Jackson and his bizarre lifestyle changes. There are tons of others. But what about certain artists that are genuinely talented (not to say these I have mentioned are not talented) and get a bad rap?

Marilyn Manson has always done things to get on the public’s bad side. Shock value is nothing new for him. Known as a bad influence for children, and his outrageous antics at concerts and on tour, the man is not necessarily a role model. But if you look further, and actually listen to some of the music the artist has put out in recent years, you’ll see an identity shift happening, or so it seems. I’ve never really been one to continuously listen to his music, but in the past year I’ve started giving bands and artists chances, just to see what’s really out there. I’ve enjoyed some great music in the past year, and one of those is Marilyn Manson. It’s not something I listen to on a daily or even regular basis, but hear me out on what the man has done.

Albums like The Golden Age of Grotesque and Eat Me, Drink Me have titles that would set anyone off. But listening to them, and lending a critical ear to them, you find that Manson is truly a gifted individual. In such a world that we live in, we hear top 40 music that all sounds the same, and rock band after rock band comes out with nothing new under the sun. Even Manson’s own style, the hard rock/industrial/metal scene hasn’t seen anything new and exciting in the last 10 years or so, some would say more. With a new album, The High End Of Low, coming next week to stores, it will be his seventh album, and likely his most adventurous. Just listening to a few tracks like “Four Rusted Horses”, “Running To The Edge of the World”, and the epic 9-minute “I Wanna Kill You Like They Do In The Movies” showcase Manson as a theatrical and experimental genius. Hints of country and acoustic sounds flood the album, along with  his signature hard, industrial tracks like “Black & White” and “WOW”. Pushing the envelope for Manson has never been hard, but little did we know he was doing it musically right under our noses as we scoffed at his antics on stage and in the public.

The music is still not something you want your kids or even a younger generation listening to, but instrumentally and theatrically, this artist has given a whole new level to music, and even those who question his lifestyle should be able to recognize originality when they hear it. We suffer, in this world, from lack of originality in everything. Movies are constantly re-done, music that actually sells is always the same, and things are always being rehashed. Maybe we should stop and look at someone who’s been pushing the envelope and take a nod from them once in a while rather than doing the same old thing that we’ve always been comfortable doing.

Marilyn Manson’s new album, The High End of Low, in stores 5/26/09 in both a standard version and a deluxe edition with remixes and extra tracks.

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