Music

Marilyn Manson: Eat Me, Drink Me

The provocateur returns, invoking both the (anti)Christ persona and Lewis Carroll's Wonderland with Eat Me, Drink Me that, like his best work, incites while bordering on parody.


Marilyn Manson

Eat Me, Drink Me

Contributors: Marilyn Manson, Tim Sköld
Label: Nothing
US Release Date: 2007-06-05
UK Release Date: 2007-06-04
Amazon
iTunes

When Marilyn Manson -- the band -- began over a dozen years ago, it was successfully built by fusing Trent Reznor's industrial-pop vision with Rob Zombie's B-movie horror show. The sophomore effort, Antichrist Superstar, refined that sound further with a proper dose of heavy metal. Two years later, 1998's Mechanical Animals mashed glam and hair metal into the same stew with near-perfect results. Unfortunately, the two subsequent studio albums broke that stride: Being scapegoated for the Columbine Massacre produced the scathing Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) response and the lackluster The Golden Age of Grotesque followed three years later. Now, Marilyn Manson -- the provocateur -- invokes both the (anti)Christ persona and Lewis Carroll's Wonderland with Eat Me, Drink Me that, like his best work, incites while bordering on parody.

While his best singles are often covers (see "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)", "Tainted Love", "This Is Halloween", and "Personal Jesus" for starters), Manson's albums of original material are always remarkably cohesive. Don't get me wrong, Manson hardly escapes the dangers of concept albums unscathed, but his work often contains a certain self-aware narcissism and self-assured lampoon that somehow softens the weak spots. And Eat Me, Drink Me is no different. This is an album about equating sex with death -- most often somehow linked to the vehicular -- and the album overflows with both, overtly.

The album opens with "If I Was Your Vampire", an industri-goth wet dream. Quiet ringing guitars are offset by heavy drums, owing as much musically to the Sisters of Mercy as it does to Nine Inch Nails. And the lyrics are as much Bauhaus as Ministry with talk of "blood-stained sheets in the shape of your heart". Majestic would be another way to describe it, as drenched in irony-deprived passion, Manson intones "Beyond the pale/ Everything is black/ No turning back."

The lyrical auto-erotica that begins in the lead-off track ("Drive me off the mountain/ You'll burn, I'll eat your ashes/ Impossible wheels seducing our corpse") continues with the wailing "Just a Car Crash Away" and the stand-out "Are You the Rabbit?", which harkens back to the glammy guitar feel of Mechanical Animals in the midst of what should be a laughable full-on car metaphor that remarkably works.

In what can only be seen as a way to maintain a buzz with the generation behind, his very public attachment to Evan Rachel Wood is flaunted throughout the peripheral of this release -- from his personal artwork to the song and video for the Lolita-inspired first single, "Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)". The song itself is a fantastic piece of militant drum cadence mixed with raw adolescent sexuality in both Manson's lyrics and delivery. "She'll never cover up what we did with her dress."

The blustery guitar of "You and Me and the Devil Makes 3" revels in the repetition of the title alongside the menacing delivery of "There's not a word for what I want to do to you." But it's hard to take any song too seriously when it contains a "Murdercute happyrape" lyrical refrain. Although somewhat lyrically stunted, "The Red Carpet Grave" is the most musically interesting piece on display here. What could best be described as distorted reggae includes a rubbery guitar solo and a sing-song delivery.

Eat Me, Drink Me should return Manson to his former successes, and rightfully so. There is an earnestness in the music designed to speak directly to fucked-up adolescence while often inexplicably foregoing the pander. There is something to be said for knowing where the line is and when to cross it. Call Manson what you will -- genius, has-been, shock rocker, freak -- but like his best work, Eat Me, Drink Me is as fun as it is cartoonishly scary.

7

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image