Album: Mechanical Animals

"Mechanical Animals" is the 3rd studio album by American rock band Marilyn Manson, released on September 15, 1998, by Nothing and Interscope Records. The album marked a shift in the band's musical direction from the industrial metal noise of their previous album, "Antichrist Superstar", to a more glam rock-influenced sound. The album was produced by Michael Beinhorn, together with Marilyn Manson frontman Brian Warner (Marilyn Manson) and bassist Twiggy Ramirez. The idea of the album focuses on the double styles of an android called Omega (portrayed by Manson) and the downtrodden world he populates, called Mechanical Animals.

Idea and Themes
"Mechanical Animals" is an idea album that provides a dystopian view of society, focusing on themes of alienation, drug dependency, and the superficiality of modern-day life. The album's narrative informs the story of an alien being, Omega, who becomes trapped in the shallow and drug-addicted world of Mechanical Animals.

The album cover shows Marilyn Manson as the androgynous character Omega, a glam rock-inspired alien, similar to David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust character. Manson handled the persona of Omega for the band's live performances throughout this age, using outfits and makeup that showed the character's androgynous look.

The album features two unique musical styles, with one part representing the perspective of Omega and the other part reflecting Manson's own outlook. This duality is represented by the album's two-sided nature, with one side including tracks with a more synth-driven, electronic sound motivated by 1970s glam rock while the other side showcases darker, heavier rock tunes.

Reception and Commercial Performance
"Mechanical Animals" received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics at the time of its release. While some praised the album's ambitious concept and sonic experimentation, others criticized it for being too derivative of glam rock artists like David Bowie and its heavy dependence on shock value.

The album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, ending up being the very first Marilyn Manson album to do so. It was licensed platinum in the United States and has offered over 1.9 million copies to date. The album generated 3 songs: "The Dope Show", "Rock Is Dead", and "I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)". "The Dope Show" turned into one of the band's most successful tunes, peaking at number 12 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and making a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance.

While "Mechanical Animals" may not have actually been as revolutionary as its predecessor, it remains an important release in Marilyn Manson's discography due to its enthusiastic principle and the band's sonic reinvention. The album's styles of alienation, dependency, and superficiality continue to resonate with listeners, making it a staple of 1990s alternative rock and a landmark in Manson's profession.

Today, the album is considered Marilyn Manson's many commercially effective release and stays a fan favorite. Its influence can be heard in the work of various artists who followed in Manson's steps, along with those who have actually mentioned it as an inspiration for their own music. Reflecting on the album's effect and tradition, "Mechanical Animals" stands as a testimony to Manson's capability to push boundaries and reinvent their noise while still preserving their provocative and confrontational essence.
Mechanical Animals Cover

Artist: Marilyn Manson

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