Let me start by saying that I think Holywood, is the best Manson album released to date. However, Mechanical Animals is my personal favourite. I think this album captured the end of the best years of Manson's career, at least so far. My only complaint is that the album may have been a slight bit over stuffed. However, this is one of the few albums I have on my Mp3 player in it's entirety on a regular basis. I have spent more time listening to this album while riding my bike than I have to any other album I own. The pulse of the album, mixed with the constant drive, moments of complete madness, and energetic surges that send the mental transistors into overload. Which makes the legs pump hard and steady.
There are nineteen tracks that range between 2:19-5:59, with the majority of the songs being around 3:30, give or take a few seconds. Which wouldn't be too bad if it wasn't for the fact that some of the tracks tend to feel like they are really being dragged out.
The key thing to remember about this album is that it's a mix of Marilyn Manson channeling David Bowie, Alice Cooper, the commercial part of Satanism, and Sunday morning Television Gospel service.
The album opens with Godeatgod, which opens with a gun being loaded. For the most part this song sets the mood for a bunch of Anti-yet-wants-to-be-Christian worship. Basically the theme to grab here really quickly is that this album is about Manson rubbing the Christian's noses in their own religion. Then the truth of this album c0omes out over the next couple songs.
The Love Song for example is only the beginning of Manson going off about being accused of being responsible for the Columbine massacre, because of his music. So, we are treated to Marilyn yelling "Do you love your guns?!" at the top of his screaming ability.
Which is then followed by The Fight Song, which is just calling all of the haters out. The anger has spent so long building up that it's just time for the Hollywood monsters (Those that choose to play the roll) to take out the real monster (Religious leaders, Polliticians, Corporate Mogels). Also if you take this song all on it's own, it's just about the most adrenaline overloaded testosterone fest that Manson has ever released.
Then it's on to the truth of what we all learned from most of the 90's, we're nothing but Disposable Teens. Here's up until the first chorus "And I'm a black rainbow / And I'm an ape of god / I've got a face that's made for violence upon / And I'm a teen distortion / Survived abortion / A rebel from the waist down / Yeah, yeah / Yeah, yeah, yeah / Yeah, yeah / Yeah, yeah, yeah / I wanna thank you mom / I wanna thank you dad / For bringing this fuckin world to a bitter end / I never really hated a one true god / But the god of the people I hated / You say you wanted evolution / The ape was a great big hit / You say you want a revolution, man / And I say that you're full of shit / We're disposable teens / We're disposable teens / We're disposable teens / We're disposable". The truth of the matter is I wasn't even a teen anymore when this song originally came out, but I still totally identified. I grew up feeling exactly as this song indicates.
Target Audience (Narcissus Nacrosis) is totally an art piece. It's all over the place musically, and is filled with all that great symbolism, and musical styling one kind of expects for Marilyn Manson, but not the good upbeat stuff. This is more of that droning Industrial Grunge that I found annoying on past albums.
I will say that it's just another filler with President Dead. It's a pretty standard track for Manson, and for as much as I dig the song myself, it's not a song I would ever suggest as "must hear" Manson. That being said, it spends a fair amount of time on my Mp3 player.
In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death has one very key defining feature to it, and it constantly is driving me up the wall. In the background there's a baby crying, and if you are tuned out, or focused on something else you all of sudden find yourself goin "Where the fuck is the baby cry coming from?" Other than that, this is your basic slow and moody Manson song.
There are times when I find Manson's Jesus personification and imagery just as annoying as Sunday Morning Televangelist. Cruci-Fiction In Space is one of those songs that really gets under my skin a bit. I understand the sentiments of Manson's "this is evolution / the monkey / the man / and then the gun / if Christ was in Texas / the hammer / the sickle / the only son / this is your creation / the atom of Eden / was a bomb / if Jack was the Baptist / we'd drink wine / from the head". I've even echoed these statements by saying that my born again/Catholic family would be the first in line to nail Jesus to the cross now a days. However, I don't think The Anti-Christ Superstar has the right to say shit about shit on the subject. He uses it as a tool of attack, as if to justify his own stance as a pompous ass.
A Place In The Dirt keeps on the theme of Marilyn Manson living out the fantasy that he's JFK, and should be worshipped as a god because of it. This is the one song on the entire album I will flat out skip, if near the player, or the remote.
Of all the songs on this album The Nobodies holds the biggest place in my heart. I will always and forever associate this song with The Editor, Drewcifer, and myself bashing this one out in a tiny cramped space made for little people (5'8" or less). It's really a simple little number, but it's so well done, and there's just something eloquent about it.
"We're on a bullet / and we're headed straight into god / even he'd like to end it too / we take a pill, get a face / buy our ticket / and we hope that heaven's true / I saw a cop beat a priest on the TV / and they know they killed our heroes too / We sing the death song kids / because we've got no future / and we want to be just like you / and we want to be just like you / Let's sing the death song kids / we light a candle on an earth / we made into hell / and pretend that we're in heaven / each time we do we get / the blind man's ticket / and we know that nothing's true / I saw priest kill a cop on the TV / and I know now they're our heroes too / We sing the death song kids / because we've got no future / and we want to be just like you / and we want to be just like you / we write our prayers on a little bomb / kiss it on the face and send it to god / We sing the death song kids / because we've got no future / and we want to be just like you / and we want to be just like you / We were the world / but we've got no future / and we want to be just like you / we want to be just like you." The lyrics to my absolute favourite Manson song, The Death Song. It's 100% pure unhinged honest insanity. The rage and anger that boils out of this song is just pure animalistic instinct, and that animal wants to destroy it's attackers.
Now, The Death Song has some obvious religious content, and I acknowledge and accept this fact. But, like I said, it's an honest attack. Lamb Of God on the other hand is a bit of a snore, and it's pretty much Manson trying to play the preacher man. However, it's just him corrupting a religion that he keeps claiming is corrupt, so I personally find it a bit counter productive. I instead just let the simple melody take me away, on the calm waves of music.
I have to say that I do understand much of the rage found in Born Again. I have watched my family go born again, one of the biggest Manson fans I've personally known has even gone born again, and all I want to do is lose my mind in his direction. It's really a horrible concept that brings so much anger, because it's so fake, and only being done as a substitute drug that allows them to falsely feel better about themselves.
Burning Flag is pretty much the same as Born Again, except this time the rage is against the political machine, and how it's making us all into a bunch of tools. Well those that are trapped within the social media, and what it dictates.
Coma Black: Eden Eye/Apple Of Discord sounds a bit like a left over from Antichrist. It has more of a natural energy and less of a Trent Reznor overprocess. If it were not for the pick ups in the song I would probably find it a bit more boring, but the choruses inject just the right amount of juice into the song to keep it from falling flat.
If this album were a movie Valentine's Day would be the song right before the climatic ending. It would be the funeral before the main character loses their mind, and kills themselves, or someone else. Hell that could be even done during this song. It's just one of those songs. Oh, it would have to be raining in a dark street while this was all going on.
The Fall Of Adam is a soundscape for the most part. At some point every band has to do a track that sounds like the Pink Floyd's Waiting For The Worms, not entirely, but the whole thing sounds like it's done as a rant through a megaphone. This track even goes one step further by adding fly sounds, since maggot sounds would be hard. King Kill is that final climatic moment of violence when it all comes crashing down, and then it's on to a revolver having the barrel being rolled over and over. Then as Manson start singing the lyrics to Count To 6 And Die, you know it's all over and that gun is just a moment before a rigged game of Russian Roulette brings it all to a close, with the silence of a shot never heard.
The reality is that this album is disturbing on so many levels. To me it's like Manson knew his time was done, and that this was his last great moment to shine. So, he tried to make himself into a figure to be worshipped and sadly he failed. However, that doesn't mean he didn't create one hell of an album in the processs.
7/10 - content
9/10 - production
8/10 - personal bias