This album is refreshingly good by Mansons standards. While The Pale Emporer was an enjoyable detour from his usual angsty stylings it was followed by Heaven Upside Down which ranged from lackluster too sloggish. This however is a refreshingly new and good album that is somehow also steeped richly in mansons past. RED BLACK AND BLUE is an incredible opener with an atmospheric industrial intro that harkens back to the finest moments of Holy Wood. The main song is comprised mainly of crushingly heavy riffs combined with deep singing and bluesy wails. It makes quite a strong first impression which opens up into quite a pretty sounding bridge.
Lead single We Are Chaos immediately follows this and this song is an amazing single. It feels almost like a modest mouse song with the glam rock swagger of David Bowie. Distorted bass, acoustic guitars and some of the finest clean vocals of mansons career are all present. In my books this is a good song. Like Mansons past albums the singles are all in a row as this is followed by Don't Chase The Dead which while not as strong as the title track is farely decent and bumps the glammar up to one hundred with a robotic drum machine and some very authentic Manson screams.
I think this song is a good point to talk about the best aspect of this album, the songwriting, this is the most confident Marilyn has been for a long time in his songwriting with incredibly catchy choruses and well paced but slightly experimental song structure (one of my biggest complaints with Manson is that sometimes his songs are like way too long). Paint You with My Love is another stellar example of this echoing aspects of Jeff Mangum, Paul Mccartney and other great writers.
Infinite Darkness is heavy as fuck and I like the lyrics a lot.
My favourite song is probably Perfume which is a bluesy anthem. Wouldn't feel at all out of place on say The Pale Emporer. And the organ in the breakdown is awesome.
Just like Mansons magnum opus Holy Wood. This album tones down for it's climax. Solve Coagula is a pounding acoustic pop song with catchy guitar licks, punhy drums and a wierdly noticeable 80s influence with some of Mansons most personal lyrics throughout his career "I'm not special, I'm just broken
And I don't wanna be fixed". This is a good song.
But Broken Needle? This is the main event. Just like all his finest albums We Are Chaos ends on a biting, depressing and anthemic ending. Man That You Fear, Coma White, Count to Six and Die (The Vacuum of Infinite Space Encompassing) are all echoed in this wonderfully building, passionate and intense closer. It at times almost feels like Radiohead lol.
Astute viewers will notice my score has been lowered from a 92 to a 72? Why is this.
Well to be frank the production on this album sucks. When I first listened to the leaks I put this down too just being a bad vinyl rip but that isn't the case. Guitars are horrendously compressed too the point that they hurt my ears, Mansons vocals are so grimy to the point that they don't really sit well in the mix and the drums at times sound cheesing. The songwriting definitely carrys this album hard but the songwriting is THAT good.