on October 8, 1999
Marilyn Manson is one who doesn't always receive the recognition that he deserves. Unfortunately, most people do not realize that Manson has this incredible talent for putting into words what other people are afraid to do or are unable to do. However, because of the disturbing things that he has to say about the world and about life in general, people turn away from him and dismiss him as another goth freak who somehow, miraculously, managed to be noticed in the ever changing world of pop culture. The fact that he is now one of the biggest stars is not surprising at all. In fact, this is what Manson deserves. He has worked long and hard to produce the kind of music that he does, and listening to him or watching his music videos is worth it. Recently, I have seen the video of one of my favorite songs on this album, Coma White. The interpretation of the song in the music video is incredible. The fact that he says so many true things about America and American culture is amazing...he is articulate, intelligent, and can pinpoint exactly what some people feel. (...) So overall, I have nothing but respect for this artist. He may be a rather scary figure, and at first, I was incredibly against him and all that he stands for, but then I realized that to hate someone, you have to try to understand them first. This is what I did, and it opened up my eyes to a new view of Manson and his music. Personally, I believe that this is what a lot of people are doing, blocking out everything that Manson has and only taking in his image. And before I sound like some goth freak raving about how much I love Manson, let me tell you that I am a 15 year old girl who happens to find some feeling in Manson's music, not in the teeny-bopping, (...) that is monopolizing the music industry these days. And before I get too serious and start going on and on about how those bands have no talent, no skill, no creativity, no originality, let me say that Manson's drummer is oh so hot in his video. =) So thank you if you took the time to read this, especially of you're anti-Manson.
on October 6, 2005
The fall of 1998 saw the release of Marilyn Manson's third studio album "Mechanical Animals." The follow-up to "Antichrist Superstar" (1996), and proceeded by "Holywood" (2000), "Mechanical Animals" is the second album in Manson's grand industrial Goth-opera.
Although it debuted at number one on the charts and quickly went platinum, it was something of a commercial disappointment. Unfortunately, rather than gain fans and expand their fan base with the new release, Marilyn Manson lost ground. And while "Mechanical Animals" didn't torpedo the band's career, (i.e. "Van Halen 3," released the same year) it did throw a wrench in the band's momentum.
Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor had been instrumental in the band's success and sound. Reznor had produced Manson's debut, "Portrait of an American Family" (1994) and the classic "Antichrist Superstar."
Wanting to get out of Reznor's shadow and not wanting to remake "Antichrist Superstar," Manson went for a new look and sound. With "Mechanical Animals," Manson chose to eschew a Goth-metal image in favor of a Bowie-like glam one. Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) and former Soundgarden producer Michael Beinhorn helped Manson in achieving his artistic vision. The cover of the album is indicative of its sound-clean, white, bright, and crisp.
Some have commented that "Mechanical Animals" isn't as "dark" as "Antichrist Superstar." I don't feel this is entirely accurate. While "Mechanical Animals" is certainly popier and more polished, it deals exclusively with dark themes.
The general theme of the album is a sci-fi epic, sometime in the not-so distant future. It describes a world of dehumanization and indifference. Narcissism, nihilism, and complacency are the prevailing ideas. It tells of a world in which people are doped into submission. Manson's (then) girlfriend Rose McGowan proved some inspiration as heartbreak and broken relationships was also an underlining theme. For his sci-fi concept album, Manson created the androgynous character "Omega" and his band of "Mechanical Animals." The title "Mechanical Animals" can also be seen as an analogy to human beings in this sci-fi world-mechanical and heartless.
Manson didn't completely abandon their sound on this new disc. They still sounded like Marilyn Manson, but the new sound was distinctly popier, glossier, and more polished. The industrial-metal was at times tinged with disco-like beats and female backup singers. The sound was noticeably cleaner, which I believe some to mistake for being lighter.
Although guitarist Zim Zum had left the group prior to the album's release, he played on a majority of the album. The band is rounded out by longtime Manson collaborator and bassist Twiggy Ramirez, Ginger Fish (drums), and M.W. Gacy (keyboards).
From the beginning chords of "Great Big White World" the tone is set for the album. This mid-tempo number stands in sharp contrast to "Superstar's" opener "Irresponsible Hate Anthem." The title of the song is self-explanatory of its theme. It's one of the album's strongest tracks and makes for a good opener.
The album's big hit "The Dope Show" can be best described as "industrial disco-metal."
The album's infectious title track "Mechanical Animals," show's Manson's more melodic side.
"Rock is Dead" is one of the more rocking and straight-forward songs on the album.
The album slows down for the next few songs. "Dissasssociative" is a beautifully morose plea which tells of wanting to be set free from this hellish world. The almost psychedelic "The Speed of Pain" sounds (as others have commented) akin to Pink Floyd.
The pace picks up a bit with the frantic "posthuman," which if reworked slightly, could have been used for "Superstar."
The hurried "I Want to Disappear" is a bratty, nihilistic submission into indifference.
"I don't like the drugs (but the drugs like me)" is both a highlight and low point for the album. This funky disco-tinged rocker is quite catchy-but the lyrics are a little clichéd. It's as though Manson were trying a little too hard on this one to be controversial, but was also too lazy to think up something more original. Still, the lyrics in the verse are quite clever and it's a good song none-the-less.
The hard-hitting "New Model No.15," has a lot of bite and although not a hit, is one of the album's strongest songs.
The mid-tempo "User Friendly" describes the self-centeredness and lack of caring or consideration in a relationship. This could have been used as a single, as it is one of the catchiest songs on the album.
"Fundamentally Loathsome" boarders on sounding like cabaret. Indeed, it sounds a bit like something The Dresden Dolls would pen.
"The Last Day on Earth" is probably the closet Manson will approach to composing a love song. It's probably my personal favorite on the album. It has a cool sci-fi introduction and tones, and is thoroughly infectious.
"Coma White" is the perfect way to conclude the album. This downbeat number is this album's "Man That You Fear," which was the closing epic on the "Superstar" album. "Coma White" wraps up the album hopeless and concluding that numbness through medication is what will be our fate.
While "Mechanical Animals" is an excellent album and a worthy follow-up to "Superstar," it will probably always be in the shadow of its predecessor. Some of Manson's fans were just unwilling to accept the new look and sound of the band.
Non-music related factors are also in play for "Mechanical Animals" taking the backseat to "Superstar." In 1996, Manson was a lighting rod for social critics and a daily subject on any TV talk show. In 1996 concerned parents and fanatical, right-wing, bible-thumping evangelicals were all up in arms over Manson, and "Superstar" serves as a token of that era. By the time "Mechanical Animals" was released, some of the frenzy had died down.
All of this is unfortunate because while "Mechanical Animals" isn't quite the masterpiece that "Superstar" is, it's still a great album and a worthy successor. Manson should be applauded for his willingness to reinvent himself and take some creative and artistic risks. It would have been a lot safer and easier for him to have just made another "Superstar."
In conclusion, although not fully appreciated upon its release, "Mechanical Animals" is a superb album that has stood the test of time. Hopefully, future generations will discover this lost gem and fans that rejected it the first time around will come back and give it another listen.
on October 1, 2004
Before my first listen to "Mechanical Animals" I didn't really think much of Marilyn Manson. His previous albums seemed to chug along without much of a purpose aside from shocking his listeners (save for a few moments of "Antichrist Superstar") and the musicianship and lyrics left much to be desired. 1998's "Mechanical Animals" is Marilyn Manson, the man, the band, in top form. Probably their most shocking effort to date, mainly because it sounds absolutely nothing like what came before or afterwards. Loosely a concept album based around Manson's then love interest, actress Rose McGowan, this work is 80% tragic love story, 10% alienation, 10% isolation, with McGowan serving as the muse. Autobiographical tunes such as "I Don't Like The Drugs (But The Drugs Like Me)" and "The Dope Show" paint a picture of Marilyn Manson's high-speed lifestyle, the latter contains a line that pretty much sums up Manson and sets the tone for the rest of the album -- "I hate today/who will I wake up with tomorrow?" However, other tracks such as "Great Big White World" and "Mechanical Animals" expose a more emotional side while being the strongest and most sonically compelling anthems of Mansons's career. As you get deeper into the album, the lyrical content gets darker and the musical landscape is much more unqiue and abstract, best displayed on the moody and haunting "Speed Of Pain," a semi-acoustic song that sounds like vintage Pink Floyd. "Coma White," the album's closer is definitely the pinnacle, a passionate and tragic song that revolves around Manson & McGowan's unique relationship and contains the memorable chorus: "You were from a perfect world/A world that threw me away today." As a whole, "Mechanical Animals" is the strongest and most cohesive work the band has accomplished today. It is a genuine oddity and a downright shame that the standard set by this album hasn't been carried onto the following, less imaginative albums. Could it be a lack of inspiration? For by the time Manson recorded his next album, "Holy Wood," his relationship with McGowan had already tapered off. Could it be the self proclaimed God Of ____ found the one true love of his life? Who knows. All that is evident here is that there was an immense amount of inspiration and emotion poured into these 14 tracks. The one album by Marilyn Manson that I can personally put on and play the whole way through. You don't have to be a fan of industrial, gothic or metal music to appreciate "Mechanical Animals." If you are looking for a deep, personal and flat-out sad album, make this album next on your "To-buy" list.
on August 6, 2000
Marilyn Manson didn't simply change his style, and he didn't "sell out". Manson evolved. The best bands evolve...Nine Inch Nails and Tool for example. Mechanical Animals is the next step forward in the evolution of Manson the man and Manson the band. This album doesn't fail.
I'll admit, I don't like Manson's new style as much as his style in Antichrist Superstar. Sometimes I wish he had stayed the same, but then I realize I'm being selfish, just like the Manson fans that ripped down all their posters of him when this album came out. Change is good. Although Antichrist Superstar still gets more play time in my stereo than Mechanical Animals, I still love this album a whole lot.
Mechanical Animals differs from Antichrist...it's not a story for one thing. It's more of a collection of songs rather than a storyline. And in that sence, the album is more well rounded. "Rock Is Dead" is amazing, "Coma White" is a great change of pace from the harder Antichrist which shows that Manson knows how to make slower music too, and my personal favorite, "New Model No. 15", is very well done.
My advice? Well there's no doubt that many fans of the Antichrist Superstar Manson will be let down by this drastic change, but as for me, I'm fine with it. I'm happy that Manson didn't rehash and re-release The Beautiful People and make another Antichrist Superstar. Mechanical Animals is awesome, and it'll tide me over until his next album.
on November 9, 1999
When i first began listening to Marilyn Manson, it was because of the moshing beat and the goth appeal. But after awhile, I began to concentrate on the lyrics and was stunned. in this cd, manson even more demonstrates the philospher genius he exhibits.Being backed up with inventive and catchy guitars, he churns out vocals spewing with very questioning lyrics. The media, christians, the whole lot of them judge him by his image, but never really take the time to LISTEN. He is questioning athourity, observing the media, culture, and the american life,and doing it in an amazing way. This cd, though different from his goth/death rock Antichrist Superstar, is far better musicwise and lryicwise. Yes, there are some heavy songs like the dope show and rock is dead, but the band slows down in coma white, dissassociative,and fundumentally loathsome. Dont listen to the christians or the media.the christians dont know what they are talking about. yes he makes comments, but he doesnt have to be banned fromliving! and THEY make up those sick rumors, so who's the sinner now?trust me, pick this cd up, head bang, swoon, sing along, and have something to think about. all from the greates man on earth, Brian Warner,(marilyln manson). one note:dont hate goths, theyre not all bad.dont judge on appearance,but the inside.im a goth,and am hated.marilyn manson forever
on June 22, 2012
I enjoy listening to Manson's albums no matter what the sound of them. If you're like me and don't care what kind of sound Manson produces with each album, this is definitely worth the money and the listen. My favorite songs have to be:
1 Great Big White World
2 The Dope Show
3 Rock is Dead
4 I don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)
and 5 Coma White *This song is by far my favorite on the album.*
I've only been listening to Manson's music since mid 2010 but I grew up with it as a kid due to my older sisters constantly playing his music. So I know what his sound is and no matter what direction he goes on his albums I enjoy all of them from the AS album to the new Born Villain and everything in between. The first album I purchased when I got started on his music was "The High End of Low" which many will say wasn't a very good album and I have to disagree. Some good songs from that album would have to be "Pretty as a ($)", "Arma-Godd***-Motherf***in-Geddon", "Running to the Edge of the World", and "We're from America".
I recommend this album to any true Manson Fan who enjoys all his eras of music. The album itself has a sort of softer sound going in the opposite direction of his normal "Suicide Rock" as many classify it. It may be a softer sound but it still has a tremendous amount of emotion put into it.
on January 31, 2012
4.5 out of 5 stars, a.k.a an A minus.
It's been said by a lot of people that Marilyn Manson is no longer relevant. The novelty of his weirdness has grown stale and conservatives have grown bored of being outraged by him. While it is true that he's no longer 'Murica's whipping boy, I must object to the dismissive, cynical tone of these critics' observations. As someone who's always been more concerned with music as it stands alone, I'm actually quite pleased that all that noise has died down. It's the perfect time to go back to Used CD bin and re-evaluate the actual music that he and his band made and put on record in the 90's for future generations to hear.
"Mechanical Animals" has aged well, both in terms of the music and the lyrical themes. While it has the electronics-heavy sound that characterized the latter half of the 90's, it's still a Rock album, and personally I don't think good Rock music ever gets old. It's still the music that will set the body, mind and soul free. Thick, old-school heavy metal guitar riffs are in abundance. There are echoes of 70's giants like Mick Ronson and Tony Iommi in the heavier songs, but on top of that you can hear the corrosive electrified noise that's been brought over by Manson's Industrial/NIN influences. The drums give the music swagger, stomping and marching along. Meanwhile, the various electronic embellishments give it a bit of a Pop sheen. It's interesting how something can sound both grating and polished at the same time. The result is something that is dark, but also catchy and a lot of fun. It kind of makes me wanna dance.
I've always really liked Manson's vocal style. He sounds damaged and sick. This means that he's excellent at conveying pain in the sadder, slower moments of this album, and sounding monstrous and extremely, genuinely pissed off in the heavier, faster moments. Rock has never been about a singer's vocal range, after all, but rather his or her ability to be expressive and throw themselves into a performance
On to the lyrics. Mechanical Animals seems a bit like two albums that have been shuffled together. About half the songs sound kind of like a more wicked version of 70's Glam Rock, with super-cynical lyrics and biting sarcasm. The Pop elements of these songs (big choruses, hooks) sound almost satirical. Manson seems to be mocking both the sleaze-tastic, superficial media and his own over-the-top Rockstar lifestyle. The other songs--power ballads, almost--show a different side of these same concepts. These songs are full of a deep despair and lamentations about numbness and hollowness. In the last 40 years or so, we've seen albums that are similar, Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" being the major standouts. "Mechanical Animals" has borrowed a lot from these albums. All three are concept albums based on a fictional Rock and Roller. Bowie has Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Pink Floyd the band has Pink Floyd the man, and Marilyn Manson has Omega and the Mechanical Animals. And only two years after "Mechanical Animals", The Smashing Pumpkins did the same thing, creating Glass and the Machines of God for the "Machina" albums.
I've said that this has aged well, and it has. One of the main themes of this album and a lot of Marilyn Manson's 90's stuff is fakery and superficiality. Veneers, hypocrites, materialists, people being turned into overblown and grotesque parodies of humanity itself. I think of this whenever I look at magazines. All those photoshopped actresses and models, all those ridiculous, expensive outfits, all those displays of obscene wealth and decadence. And how we eat it all up and love it, and, I suspect, secretly hate ourselves for what we are. We want to be stars, working to be as successful, beautiful and artificial as a celebrity. The album also has a futuristic vibe to it. Fear of technology was a big thing in the late 90's, what with that Y2K scare and the rise of the Internet. Movies like "2001: A Space Odyssey", "Blade Runner" and "Videodrome" had taught people to be both afraid of and fascinated by computers. I feel like today people have eased into this a bit more. I know people who talk about their ipads and phones like they're their little friends. It's pretty weird, when you think about it. I'm one of those who's still afraid of technology and our growing dependence on it, so that aspect of the album really resonates with me.
So in conclusion, this album holds up as both a collection of really fun, Pop-tinged music and an artistic statement.
on July 26, 2000
I don't usually talk about myself in reviews, but I'm afraid I must for this one to come across at all. I am not a depressed teen, worried parent, or raging Christian. I am instead a 27 year old graduate student with a well-paying job in the mortgage industry. I am engaged to be married next year to my girlfriend, who is a Biochemistry major. I myself am seriously considering law school. I have been a fan of Marilyn Manson since Portrait of an American Family came out. I realize the strangeness of that concept. I admit I do not fit the stereotype of a Manson fan. Yeah, I'm happy, yeah, I'm 'old', yeah, I'm well off for someone my age. I admit all that. Yeah, the only black I wear is in slacks and ties, (yeah, I'm a yuppie with a brown briefcase.) Yet I get in my 2000 X-Terra and blast Mechanical Animals 'til the mirrors shake. Here is why. One reason lies in that the Beatles said that happiness is a warm gun that Mother Superior jumped, yet the Fab Four are still sung in campier churches. Jefferson Airplane lamented the 'stupid christians,' and said that 'no body needs to baptize me; everytime I laugh, I've got religion.' I know parents, however, who still hum that tune on the same day they burn their teen's Marilyn Manson album. The overall message in Manson albums, the message that America is a TV-whipped nation pulling its own string for instant senseless quotation, is backed up by the actions of its people. We do talk without knowing what we are talking about. We want to make a difference, but only truth can make a difference. Opinion can only hang in the air, inevitable, necessary, but fundamentally useless. Marilyn Manson try for truth. The frontman himself is basically a well-televised atheist with strong feelings and words. Look how we react when we hear something we don't know how to answer to. Look how we hate and fear something with real strength (proveable) and musicality (my opinion.)That something is Mechanical Animals and every other Marilyn Manson album.Think what you will, but make sure that your opinion was not given to you.
on March 23, 2004
Now, most of my musical reptoir consists of artists like The White Stripes, The Strokes, Blur, Weezer, The Cranberries, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and so on. In other words, I normally despise many goth/metal/shock genres. But there is something so beautifully poetic about Manson that stands out to me in a way that no musician - genre regardless - has ever been able to do before. I tend to dislike the more typical Manson songs, some examples being "This is the New *hit", "The Beautiful People", and other songs that are more shock than anything else. But his deep, emotional, painful ballads such as "The Speed of Pain", "Disassociative", and "Mechanical Animals" move me in such a way with their beautiful instrumentals, soul-flooding lyrics, and passionate vocals that I can honestly say they are among the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. Particularly "The Speed of Pain", which starts out as nothing but vocals and an accoustic guitar and builds up until it reaches a full-fledged symphony of lovely echoing, enchanting sounds. That one five-minute song is an intense emotional experience in itself.
Mechanical Animals is most definitely my favorite Manson album. I find it comforting when I'm in a dismal, desperate, depressing state of being. It's almost as if Manson himself is whispering words of comfort to someone he's never even met. He describes the pain everyone feels so perfectly in his lyrics and instrumentals. It's incredible, he's a genius. A true artist.
on February 28, 2001
Speed metal has always been a taste Ive long held, never much into Industrial or ahem "goth" (this isnt goth btw). I figured Id give the guy a shot, since someone who stirs up such a storm might be worth it. After getting his Live cd, I was very impressed. My next addition to my collection was this album. Perhaps since Id been exposed to both sides of Manson I wasnt so taken aback by the styles herein. Nonetheless, I feel its much more of a classic than Antichrist Superstar ( a great cd all the same).
On this cd, Marilyn Manson delivers everything in such a realistic and depressing way. It doesnt have the outflowing of anger on ACS, yet anger is there. He seems more human here, as the lyrics reflect less anti-Christ stuff, such as User Friendly, about relationships where you get used, something I identified with very much. I can relate to many a song on here, including Great Big White World, Disassociative, Speed of Pain and Fundamentally Loathsome. The music is very tightly played, and sounds more so a band product than machine-made. It is fantastic!
I do not know why so many fans abandoned this guy here, as he shines his brightest within this cd. Give it a shot and let yourself feel what he is saying. You wont regret it.