As y’all may know, I’m not afraid of music. I get on a kick every now and then. Years ago, some one played a joke on me by fusing my photo with one in a scene with Marilyn Manson. Yes Barbie, I still have it.
I’ve always had a curiosity about Manson since hearing some interviews with him on the radio. He is a very bright guy and some snippets of his music caught my ear as being very interesting. So I got a hold of a bunch of his music and I’ve been digesting each album until I get it.
OK, I’m 52 years old with thinning grey hair, and I’m driving around blasting Manson, which did get me to drive a little faster. It’s an unlikely sight, I’m sure.
Manson’s Lyrics (that can be understood) are very smart and well phrased. The sounds are often very interesting, but there are a lot of sounds that aren’t.
I’m not going to recommend any of you purchase any particular album. I would have to take a couple tunes from each to make one somewhat listenable album. Trust me there is a lot of head banging, screaming, references to suicide and self mutilation and foul language. Had I been a sixteen year old angst filled white boy, I’d probably love every bit of each collection, but I’m not and I don’t. However there are a lot of interesting moments in his music.
I would best describe Manson as an impressionist because listening to his music I am occasionally left with the impressions of other musicians such as: Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Nirvana, David Bowie, John Lennon, MC5 and any of a dozen head banging metal groups.
As I listened I looked for the element that bonds the music and makes it interesting to me. The group is very tight, well seasoned and very well produced. It appeals to my short attention span. Manson’s vocals aren’t actually all that interesting though his phrasing is quite good.
The bond that holds it all together for me has to be the drums. Drummer, Ginger Fish does some amazing things. He actually, on most occasions makes the sounds all come together with a breath of percussive meaning. Most drummers supply only metronomic accompaniment and neither add nor take away elements. Every once in a while a commanding drummer will come along and actually add a great deal to the texture of the music. It is the difference between using drums to knock out a beat and using the drums to make music. Ginger Fish makes music with his drums.
In summation, I don’t suggest you go out and buy any Marilyn Manson CDs, however if you have any kids living with you who might have one or two, borrow them and have a listen. You might be surprised.