This is really awful. MM has reached that stage in his career when you don’t know whether his next album is going to be his last. The fear, post Golden Age, is just what the next album is going to be; the fear that it could be another ghastly Eat Me, Drink Me looms large. Despite its horrible cover, The High End of Low had several redeemable tracks on it. Half a good MM album is better than nothing.
There is nothing redeemable on Born Villain. Everything that doesn’t work about MM is here. The backing band is just bad. The sound is thin, seriously not helped by the drum machine (aaaargh, what were they thinking.) There’s no barrage of noise, no intricate layers that take a thousand listens to peel apart. There’s no poetry, no beauty, no heart-on-sleeve. No intelligence. No imagination. No hard work. No care. If it was new ground, a new direction, an interesting experiment: I wouldn’t mind. But it isn’t. It’s a rehash of all the weak elements that should have been thrown away ten years ago.
The disappointment is terrible. MM is the poet of my heart, the voice of my darkest soul…..quite an important aspect of my life, then. But I’m not so blinded that I’m willing to take any old sludge from him. He can do better and he should be professional enough to know what works and what doesn’t.
I don’t expect another Antichrist Superstar – it would be too much to hope and too much time has gone by. Nor do I expect another Mechanical Animals or Holy Wood, but it’s no fun watching a phenomenon die on its feet as it gets older and older. Age shouldn’t kill the creative spirit. It should mature with it.
The cover is nice, though.