**DISCLAIMER-We know the article is up a day late. Chalk it up to first week technical errors**
In the 90's and early 2000's, music, particularly alternative rock and hip hop of the time, came under an incredible amount of fire from political parties nationwide. The far right claimed the works of artists, such as Marilyn Manson, were corrupting the youth of America. Some even argued that Manson may have been responsible for the events at Columbine High School. While ridiculous and absurd (and thankfully not something that is heard of much anymore), this attack on music and character assassination of Manson deeply impacted the selling success of his career. But, that doesn't mean that it impacted the quality of his music.
Over the years there has been a certain expectation of music by Manson, including deep gore infused guitar riffs and controversial statements about religion and the political machine, as well as direct references to guns and their variety of uses. But Manson has always stood that his music is simply that. . .music. While not everyone would agree, most psychologists would agree. For a little context, here is the video for one of Manson's most coveted works, "The Beautiful People".
With Manson's most recent album, "Heaven Upside Down", we get more classic Manson with an infusion of more modern production and what feels like a heavier 'cinematic' feel. Perhaps this is due to the recent re-emergence of popularity due to "Killing Strangers" being featured in John Wick, but that's another article entirely. Some of the highlights from the album include "Kill4Me", "SAY10", and "WE KNOW WHERE YOU F***ING LIVE". Each of these songs bring up Manson's own par. However, as a whole, the album doesn't stand nearly as strong as these three tracks. While there are a few solid, medium level tracks, most of the rest of the album feels like filler when compared. In a way, the rest of the album is the Manson we expect, with nothing new.
"SAY10" received a music video treatment, co-starring Johnny Depp, and features a abundance of nudity, obscenity and symbolism. Again, more of the Manson we expect. While the video isn't a standout in the pantheon of great music videos, it compliments the song quite well and offers a few different takes on the meaning of the lyrics (in one way of thinking, Manson plays Satan while Depp plays a disheveled God). While most of the video is shot using standard coverage, there are a few standout shots and scenes (i.e. the packets of blood scene).
Overall, "Heaven Upside Down" receives a 3 out of 5 rating from Tek5Music. A solid album, but not quite a blowout success.
Would We Recommend It? Yes.
Check out the video for "SAY10" below.
Author - Steve Douglas
Steve is a music producer, film editor and photographer who founded Tek5 Music in August of 2017. He currently works and resides in Roanoke, Virginia while preparing for the release of his next project "Roses Are Blue".