In a strange way this is a very new type of album for him and at the same time a return to the beginning. Sometimes fresh and sometimes familiar. Always interesting though. Right at the start Marilyn Manson uses quotes from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Does that mean he sees this whole album as some kind of tragedy? Makes you think. That is what I have always liked about Marilyn Manson that he is not an artist who is afraid to use his intellect. Unlike his previous recordings the artist who seemed always drawn to the darker sides of life allows himself some room for differences and less shock-rock. You can hear tinges of glam rock and even blues on Born Villain. I don’t mean that the guy has completely mellowed out and is now a folk singer but he does allow for some vulnerability to come through. There is still a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of misery and anger that comes from within him for one of the oh too rare times he demonstrates his emotional complexity. Not a moment of it sounds insincere either. It is not for show. That complexity, intelligence and depth is also reflected in the arrangements. Ever note is well thought out and every instrument is there for a reason and a purpose. My personal highlight is steeped in camp and it is a cover of Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” in which he is accompanied on vocals by none other than Captain Jack or Johnny Depp.