http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/43209b590a482695edd9de4882b937757aad4d36.jpeg The Golden Age Of Grotesque

Marilyn Manson

The Golden Age Of Grotesque

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
May 6, 2003

Marilyn Manson really should be sucking by now. Sex, violence, drugs, religion — yes, they're all practically inexhaustible topics, but he's done them for more than a decade, and his shtick isn't that shocking anymore. Whether it's Jesus Christ or Adolf Hitler, any public figure who trafficks in extremes eventually turns into a cliche.

Manson is clearly anxious about this. "Everything has been said before/Nothing left to say anymore" are the first words that come out of his mouth on The Golden Age of Grotesque. His opening round, "This Is the New Shit," sounds a whole lot like the old shit. Synths twitter expectantly until guitars come charging in to run over your skull like bouncing monster trucks as drums and bass thrash out a death-party groove.

What's surprising is that there's still so much life in what Manson is rehashing. Originality has never been his forte, but this walking sound bite excels at absorbing what's out there and distilling it through his anti-charisma until it's simultaneously fresh and putrid. For "mOBSCENE," he steals nearly the same cheerleader cheer that Faith No More stole for their 1992 track "Be Aggressive," but the dumb, catchy result works nevertheless. "I got an F and a C, and I got a K, too/And the only thing that's missing is a bitch like you," he wails in "(s)AINT," a rhyme so moronic it's inspired. The album loses momentum as the songs slow and dull down, but the first half of Grotesque shines brighter than it should.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Stillness Is the Move”

    Dirty Projectors | 2009

    A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

    More Song Stories entries »