on 7 May 2007
"6 am, Christmas Morning" Manson growls on the opening of his new record "Eat Me, Drink Me". In his latest offering, his first LP since 2003's "Golden Age of Grotesque" we are offered Manson on a plate. Gone are the concepts and characters that have built the foundations of his career thus far, instead we have something of a more raw and emotional sound, a man who has been struck down by love. Manson himself has stated that this is the record he has always meant to make, I'm not so sure. I feel that this record has come at just the right point in his career, there is no doubt that this album will divide Manson fans, but to me the new sound is very refreshing, and very long over due.
Gone are the days of head banging riffs, gothic ballads and industrial rock anthems, What we have here is a much more mellow and free flowing collection of songs, though varied they may be, they all have one common factor... They are all elaborately pieced together by Tim Skold's "Brilliant" guitar playing, something many Manson fans will not have heard present in his songs since 1994. [Or at least not anywhere near this level]. By now I'm guessing we are all familiar with Manson's constant image and sound changes, frog hopping from one genre to another with an effortless flick of his jet black hair and a winking of the eye. As with Mechanical Animals though, this is not just a simple and slight change in sound, it's a detour down a completely different avenue... One that reminds you more of bands such as Joy Division than anything, OK maybe not, but you get my point.
The Opening Track is entitled "If I Was Your Vampire", and as cliché as it sounds, it isn't all steaks through the heart and blood sucking freaks. A brilliant opening to the album, and a great way to wave goodbye to the sound of Manson past. This track rolls along very pleasantly, and does have a slight gothic and foreboding feel to it, which creates a great atmosphere. It is here that you will realise that there is much more emotion present, and what's this... Manson is singing? Almost suffocating in its emotion drenched lyrics; this track is epic, but only to those who will be able to draw any meaning from it.
Hello to the Manson of present. "Putting Holes in Happiness" is the second track, a song of pure genius. This is a standout track if ever I heard one and a great example of Manson's new direction. Raw in its sound, it is heavily guitar driven, and extremely depictive in its lyrical meaning. This track will almost undoubtedly become a favourite of Manson fans, if not for its impeccable catchiness then for its flawlessly executed vocal and guitar work. A pure gem, and definitely one of the best Eat Me, Drink Me has to offer.
Track Three, "The Red Carpet Grave" is a bouncy playful song. It's what I expect you would get if you mixed a track from "Golden Age of Grotesque" with one from "Mechanical Animals". The vocals are quickly and sharply delivered against a constant carnival esque synth. The guitar solo present here does seem a little tacked on, as though included just for the sake of it. Not one of the strongest tracks, and a little rushed in its sound, none the less it is extremely catchy and a refreshing direction.
"They Said That Hell's Not Hot" is nowhere near as morbid and depressing in sound as one might expect. At first I was not a huge fan of this track, but with over 20 listens it has become a favourite. Another guitar driven song, as almost all here are, this song has it all, memorable lyrics, and stompy chorus and great vocal and instrumental power... the chorus itself may seem a little repetitive, and pointless but as I said, give it a few listens and just try and stop yourself singing along.
It is inevitable, on any Manson record you will always have the melancholy and depressive ballad... just as well then that "Just a Car Crash Away" happens to be absolutely brilliant. Amazing lyrically and vocally... This is Pure Emotion, for the first time ever you get to hear a vulnerable and paining Manson... beautifully delivering the vocals as he screams and growls his way through the haunting chorus. The Honesty and Sincerity found on this track is not only rare, but extremely overwhelming, As a Manson fan I have waited for a song like this for a VERY long time.
Don't Break, Don't Break My Heart, And I Wont Break Your "Heart Shaped Glasses". You've all heard it, and you either love or hate it. The first track to be lifted from Eat Me, Drink Me as a single, and this track is a Pop/Rock parade... Fun in its sound, but completely the opposite in its content. I am aware that there has already been much argument over this track, but I for one like it. I think it's very daring for Manson to try something this "Pop" in its sound. And credit too him, It worked out rather well. Not the best track from the album, but its obvious as to why it was chosen as a single, luckily to those who dislike this song, it does not represent the rest of the album.
"Evidence" is track 7, and is one of my favourite Manson tracks ever... very diverse, it's another ballad, but more of a power ballad than track 5. It has a kind of 80's rock feel to it, its one of those songs that you just can't help but sing along too. I especially like the lyrics to this song, particularly the chorus "You're so sudden and sweet, All legs, knuckles and knees. Head blown clean off, your mouth paid off. Fuck me 'til we know it's unsafe, And we'll paint over the evidence". It is a pure mix of the old and the new; fans of previous Manson songs will love this one.
I was very interested in hearing this track when the title was first announced; "Are You the Rabbit?" has such an intriguing title, and is an obvious nod to Alice. Never before have had I heard such a filthy, fun frolic fest pour from Manson mouth. I absolutely love this track; it has power and theatrics by the bucket load. It portrays vocals from Manson that make me shiver, very sexy, definitely a song to f**k too. Faster Faster Faster Manson cries, as the listener is left in a shivering mess on the floor. This song really is one to get you moving, although this track does not contain the emotional power as some of the others, there is no doubt that it is fabulous.. Pure and utter fun, I can't wait to hear this song live.
As many of you have probably wondered, where has "Rebels without Applause" Vanished too, well I can happily inform you it hasn't been scrapped, and with good reason... it is now called "Mutilation is the Most Sincere Form of Flattery". Possibly my favourite track from the album... This track would not sound out of place on "Mechanical Animals", which is a good thing. Very satirical lyrics, and wonderful guitar and rhythm work hold this track together. We all know Manson loves himself, and this song represents that perfectly as Manson reminds us that he "Plays This Better Than You". This track makes me smile, Again, not a raw and emotional track, it is pure Manson all over and will have the crowd, and listeners for that matter chanting to the chorus. Absolutely Brilliant.
Another contender for Favourite Track on the album is track 10, "You and Me and The Devil Makes Three". I have always loved Manson's upbeat tracks, especially the ones where he snarls and growls, it makes me weak. This track reminds me of a few other Manson tracks, it contains gibberish, similar to that of the babble, babble contained in "This is The New Shit", and has a much more industrial sound than the previous 9 tracks, rather like a super sped up "Dope Show". Of all the tracks on "Eat Me, Drink Me" this is the dirtiest, it has a killer baseline, an almost rickety sound to it... I guarantee that as Manson bellows "There's Not a Word for What I Want to do to you" you will want to touch yourself. I simply cannot explain how good this song makes me feel, I love it.
The final track is the self titled "Eat Me, Drink Me". Another nod to Alice, with enough reference to send Lewis Carroll into a spin. Another ballad, this is a dark and atmospheric affair, a grower which took some adjustment to get used too. It is well worth your time getting to grips with this track, as it is one of the stronger ones on the record. It has a kind of "Anthem" feel to it, waving hands and such. Brilliantly crafted, it has beautiful and very well written lyrics, lines such as "this is only a game" leaves one feeling a little hollow. Although nearly 6 minutes long, it feels more like three, it is a little more progressive and subtle than the others and doesn't give itself away all at once. A brilliant way to end the album, and a brilliant testament to Manson's new sound. A True Masterpiece.
I am aware that A LOT of people will not like this album, there are those who are waiting with guns ready to shoot Manson down, and most will not have heard the record. There are those who will disregard this album as tripe because they have not liked previous work or because "Heart Shaped Glasses" was not to their liking. But believe me, it is not worth listening to these people... this record is worth every second of your time, and is like nothing you have ever heard from Manson Before. It is very difficult to give an overall conclusion to this album without sounding a little biased. I have to say that at first listen this album overwhelmed me a little, I was unsure to what I thought to the sound and new direction, but as with any record it takes time to accustom too. And believe me once you have you will be very pleased with the result. This album really is a masterpiece, Diverse in its sound, and Very unusual in its lyrical content [for a Manson Album] this is the closest we are going to get to the real Marilyn Manson, and one should be very thankful for the opportunity.