CD REVIEW: Marilyn
A Dandy Antichrist
|CALLING ALL FREAKS.
Manson and the gang reinvent themselves in The Golden Age of Grotesque.
The Golden Age of Grotesque
There isn't much Marilyn Manson can do to shock people these days. With
each artistic evolution from generic, leather-clad goth rocker
in Portrait of an American Family to Antichrist extraordinaire
in Antichrist Superstar to sexually ambiguous glam god in Mechanical
Animals Manson seems to have pushed the empire of freakdom
to its outer limits.
Now, Manson takes on the role of the "Arch Dandy of Dada" for
his latest concept album, The Golden Age of Grotesque. Drawing
upon influences from the cabaret circuit, burlesque, Dadaism and Berlin,
Manson and his freshly bleached blonde bandmates minus longtime
bassist Twiggy Ramirez are poised and ready to enter a new era.
Although the lyrics on GAOG tend to be glaringly self-conscious
in songs such as "Doll Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag" and "The
Golden Age of Grotesque," the accompanying guitar and synth-work
is risky and innovative. For those who miss the old, "real"
Manson, GAOG delivers in the second half of the album, as the
emotionally charged verses of songs such as "Spade" and "Para-noir"
successfully rise above the artificiality of Manson's "Grotesque
With his contrived and ever-shifting image, Manson seems to have an exceptional
talent for alienating audiences and GAOG offers no exception
to the rule. However, if you're able to break through the shell of cabaret-style
fantasy Manson has built around himself and glimpse into the inner workings
of the brain that designed it, you'll see the Antichrist and the Arch
Dandy are, and always have been, one and the same.