Wednesday, June 20, 2007

“EAT ME, DRINK ME"/The Trilogy.

For those of you that aren’t aware, I’m a huge Marilyn Manson fan. I first picked up “Portrait of an American Family,” (POAAF) his first album, when I heard that he was opening for Nine Inch Nails. I figured any band that opens for NIN must be good and picked it up. As soon as I heard the opening drum beats of “Cake and Sodomy” I knew it was good stuff. His subsequent masterpiece, “Antichrist Superstar,” set a new bar for metal in general, but we’ll get back to that later.

“EAT ME, DRINK ME” (EMDM) wasn’t supposed to happen. He originally intended for “Golden Age of Grotesque” (GOAG) to be his swan song, but lo and behold, he meets the young actress Evan Rachael Wood (starring in his “it’ll be released someday” Lewis Carroll-inspired “Phantasmagore”) and is inspired to make music again, centered around “Heart-Shaped Glasses,” which is the closest Manson has come to writing a love song in his career.

I’ve read a lot of reviews for EMDM, and one I read on a message board keeps coming back to me that I’ll shamelessly reproduce here – this is the first Brian Warner album. Clearly it still contains the trademark Manson sound and there are typical dashes of talking about death and destruction, but this album has a much more personal feel than anything he’s ever done, to an extent where when you listen to it you think of Brian Warner the man making a Manson album, as opposed to Manson the persona creating chaos in the form of music.

And because of this personal feel to the music, I appreciate it for its flaws as well as its triumphs. Of all Manson albums, this rivals GAOG as the most “spotty” in terms of quality. While some songs are utterly amazing, others are sort of casually “there.” This is a contrast to the trilogy (more on this in a second), of course, where almost every song is awesome and speaks to a greater story.

At the end of the day, if you’re a big fan of Manson, you’ll love EMDM, like I do. Standout tracks are “Heart-Shaped Glasses,” and the deliciously raunchy “Evidence,” which rivals “Cake and Sodomy” for rocking guilty pleasure.

The Trilogy

Thanks to our friend Wikipedia, I’ve been studying the “internet summary” of a litany of Manson information I’ve been missing the last few years while I’ve been working instead of researching Manson on the internet. After POAAF, Manson released “Antichrist Superstar” (AS), “Mechanical Animals” (MA), and “Holy Wood – In the Shadow of the Valley of Death” (HW) in sequence. Listening to the albums in real-time as they were released, AS was an instant masterpiece and became perhaps my favorite metal album of all time. MA came as a bit of a shock in terms of its Bowie-ish feel, but it was actually stunning in that is was almost as good as AS. [In fact, a bit of Badger-trivia for you – I have listened to MA more than any other MM album because my roommate Freshman year of college insisted on listening to it while going to sleep just about every night. Believe it or not, the fierce “Great Big White World” (about cocaine, not race issues, Manson-haters) makes me a feel a bit sleepy to this day as a result.] Next came HW, MM’s first release post-Columbine, which was unsurprisingly dark and heavy, addressing his detractors head-on concerning guns, God, and government in songs like “The Love Song,” “The Fight Song,” “Disposable Teens,” etc.

It turns out that the proper order of the albums, however, is HW-MA-AS. It concerns a hero, named Adam, who goes through protest, ending in disillusionment (HW), turning to drugs and decadence (MA), and ultimately being reborn as “The Worm” in AS. The fact that such an explanation works, yet also that the real-time release of the three albums coincided logically with Manson’s real-life events, blows my mind. Those that own these albums also know that the artwork is incredibly detailed and interesting, and extremely detailed explanations can be found for just about everything contained therein.

In case you’re a fan of hard music but have avoided Manson in the past, I recommend you pick up “the trilogy” and listen to them in order while reading their background. Even if Manson isn’t your favorite artist, I have gained an even deeper appreciation of these albums from an artistic standpoint – they are truly amazing.


Blogger cookie said...

very nice review! almost makes me want to listen to this... :-)

1:08 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home