Marilyn Manson Eat Me, Drink Me
CD Review by Scott "Dr. Music" Itter

August 2007

Track listing:
1. If I Was Your Vampire 2. Putting Holes In Happiness 3. The Red Carpet Grave
4. They Said That Hell's Not Hot 5. Just A Car Crash Away
6. Heart-Shaped Glasses (When The Heart Guides The Hand) 7. Evidence
8. Are You The Rabbit? 9. Mutilation is the Sincere Form of Flattery
10. You And Me And The Devil Makes 3 11. Eat Me, Drink Me

Label: Interscope / Release date: June 5, 2007

For those of you that are not aware of my loyalties to Manson, let me enlighten you to my past opinions. I love the hell out of this guy. I loved "Portrait of an American Family," and I think "Antichrist Superstar" is one of the best records I own. Hell, I even liked the last two records. But now let me tell you the problem I have with this latest release, "Eat Me, Drink Me." I think I may have literally loved the Hell right out of Manson. All that demonic chaos that was so appealing on the first record, "Portrait of an American Family," and the masterpiece known as "Antichrist Superstar," seems to be diminished for this latest offering. Not to say that these songs aren't themed around subjects like blood and The Devil, because they are. No, the chaos that this record lacks is contained within the keyboard sound of Madonna Wayne Gacy, the thumping rhythm section of bassist Twiggy Ramirez and drummer Ginger Fish, and the spaced out guitar shred of John 5. And the reason that the record is lacking in these areas is simple, none of these guys are in the band anymore. Alienation and selling the name is what this record seems to be about. Manson has pissed off everyone around him and now finds himself trying to pick up the pieces of a unit that had carved a unique and distinct niche in the industrial/electronica sound.

These songs lack any kind of squirming keyboards or driving rhythms that were so prevalent in the past records. Instead, Manson strays from the sound that made the band famous and likeable and tries to introduce a more straight forward Metal formula. Almost every song here has a hand cramping guitar solo, something that was unheard of from this band before now. Oh, did I say "band?" I really have trouble calling this a band anymore. This is Manson and Tim Skold, that's it. They wrote it and produced it together, and the lack of a band really rears its ugly head. The signature creepiness of the Manson drawl is still here, and there's a little fire that comes from one or two of these tracks, but for the most part this is pretty dull.

I think the basis of this album is pretty well defined with the first single, "Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)." Let's see, Marilyn Manson does U2 or The Fixx, perhaps? Cyndi Lauper would be proud of this one, and that's never a good thing. There are songs that try to capture the attitude of the "band" formerly known as Marilyn Manson though. Songs like "Mutilation Is The Most Sincere Form of Flattery" has the "Fuck you" lyric repeated over and over, but the fact that the song is driven by a shallow guitar riff and solo is what kills the track. Megadeth and Ozzy are driven by guitar riffs and solos; a great Marilyn Manson track is driven by an eerie keyboard chart and a life threatening rhythm section. "Are You the Rabbit?" somewhat revisits the typical Manson sound with its heavy rhythm, but it still lacks the keyboard fire that set so many Manson songs ablaze in the past. The song that shines the brightest here is "Putting Holes in Happiness," and I think it's for one simple reason: it's a well-written song. It's driven by a guitar riff, and it has a scorching solo right in the middle of it, but this one is written and produced perfectly for that kind of approach; the rest of these songs sound like old Marilyn Manson leftovers that never got touched by the members that epitomized the sound of the band.

This is really the first disappointing record I've heard from Manson. I didn't love "The Golden Age of Grotesque" or the "Holy Wood: In the Shadow of the Valley of Death" albums, but I thought each of those discs represented the band well. They kept to what they did best and delivered the goods on many different levels. With this record, Manson truly starts his solo career. He is a man without a band, and I think it's clear that he can't make this journey alone.