HOLY WOOD (IN THE SHADOW OF THE VALLEY OF DEATH)
ALBUM NOTHING, UNIVERSAL RELEASE:
NOVEMBER 14, 2000 REVIEW: JANUARY 10, 2001
These are times when the Western illusion of democracy is becoming more
transparent than ever. In its place, the "invisible hand" of capitalism is
starting to take very solid shape, and its main feature is an index finger
that's pointing down, down, down, down, down.
It's with this background you should view Marilyn Manson, and then he
transcends from being a cartoon character to an important force. Especially
in the United States, the origin of most de-evolution. Manson dares
challenge the moral monopoly of the Christian right, and asks the question:
"What happens to those who won't succumb to the capitalistic way of life?".
In interviews, he does all this with splendour: he's articulate, witty, and
very intelligent. If he could translate that into his records, they'd be
fabulous - but he can't. On "Holy Wood (in the Shadow of the Valley of
Death), his lyrics are as banal as ever, almost adolescent, and often feel
like more than provocations without a real core.
The music is also still very much 70's hard rock with a few loops and
"spooky" synths, although undeniably better produced than ever. Still, not
very exciting. The glam rock on Manson's best album "Mechanical Animals" was
far better, much because the band dared tone the aggressive side down. All that said, I have to admit that "The Love Song" has a brilliant
chorus - "Do you love your guns? Yeah! God? Yeah! The government?". Very
Maybe Manson just doesn't want to go over his audience's head. Maybe he was
just born to be a debater rather than a musician. No matter what, I'll
continue to read his interviews, but I doubt that I will play "Holy Wood"
many times again.