Depending on how you like your Manson records, this is either some of his best work or average middle of the road rock with very little shock. However one thing this album does do, is show talent that is behind the sunglasses and makeup. Take away the shock 'n roll and we are left with one the greatest at his craft.
Marilyn Manson’s eleventh studio album ‘We Are Chaos’ has just been released via Loma Vista Recordings. Co-produced by Manson and GRAMMY® Award winner Shooter Jennings [Brandi Carlile, Tanya Tucker], the ten-track opus was written, recorded, and finished before a pandemic blanketed us all.
“Making this record, I had to think to myself: ‘Tame your crazy, stitch your suit. And try to pretend that you are not an animal’ but I knew that mankind is the worst of them all. Making mercy is like making murder. Tears are the human body’s largest export.”
Manson’s painting, Infinite Darkness, which can be seen on the album cover, was specifically created to accompany the music. Music that showcases his talent as a songwriter. Manson’s 11th studio album is less shock and more of a vulnerable look under the glam and makeup.
“I’m in a mode in life where I wanted to tell stories with this record”
“This concept album is the mirror Shooter and I built for the listener – it’s the one we won’t stare into. There are so many rooms, closets, safes and drawers. But in the soul or your museum of memories, the worst are always the mirrors. Shards and slivers of ghosts haunted my hands when I wrote most of these lyrics.”
Rock club drums and that distinct vocals kick off the album with track ‘Red Black And Blue’ in a stately manor. Which flows into the acoustic ramble of ‘We Are Chaos’. You can sense Jennings writing influence with tracks like ‘We Are Chaos’ and ‘Paint You With My love’. The mention of “Honky-tonk” in ‘Paint You…’ and the chorus of ‘Don’t Chase The Dead’ with as Manson describes a Southern Style.
There are simple arrangements and some of the songs sound almost pretty compared to his back catalogue. ‘Half-Way And One Step Forward’ has a taste of Enya in its repetitive piano motif as Manson moans of tears and being beyond help.
Infinite Darkness brings the industrial gothic style we are used with its bass heavy mix and whisper like vocals, “Dead longer than you are alive”. ‘Perfume’ with its hook of “Get behind me Satan” takes a pop at the cult of celebrity before the gothic is back with ‘Solve Coagula’ and its ’80s theme played out on a fuzzed up guitar.
Closing track ‘Broken Needle’ is an acoustic ode to the throw away culture, “Scratching you up then put you away” He still has a lot to stay about the current climate as the title singles lyrics “We are sick, f***ed up and complicated/ We are chaos, we can’t be cured.” and he will always use his art to speak up. This album is more inward focusing though he still manages to included the world around him.
He has come along way and will be around for a long time to come and we can appreciate what a talent he has when it comes to the craft of song writing. Especially without the big personalities like John 5 bringing there own chaos to a track. This is Manson and he is all we need.
Check out closing track ‘Broken Needle’, below:
The album is available here and all good streaming sites.
WE ARE CHAOS – Tracklist:
1. RED BLACK AND BLUE
2. WE ARE CHAOS
3. DON’T CHASE THE DEAD
4. PAINT YOU WITH MY LOVE
5. HALF-WAY & ONE STEP FORWARD
6. INFINITE DARKNESS
8. KEEP MY HEAD TOGETHER
9. SOLVE COAGULA
10. BROKEN NEEDLE