‘WE ARE CHAOS’ is Marilyn Manson’s Feel-Good Album

Published on September 14, 2020

Marilyn Manson is on a roll. The artist has hit a creative peak these last few years with “The Pale Emperor,” “Heaven Upside Down,” and now, “WE ARE CHAOS.” Manson released his latest album on Friday, September 11th, which of course, is a very Manson move. The album itself is far less abrasive than its release date, though, and is one of the artist’s more beautiful, glam rock-esque albums to date. 


Manson has cited his most notable influences, such as David Bowie and Alice Cooper, as inspirations for his latest work. Bowie, in particular, is a name that comes to mind more than once during Manson’s album, which shows another side of the artist. There’s more sensitivity, a little more conventional fun, and a gentler open-heartedness about “We Are Chaos.”

Manson’s music usually tapes into the darkness or the macabre. He’s still singing in the darkness, but this time, with sounds of hope and kindness echoing throughout. There are genuine positive feelings in “We Are Chaos” that aren’t always associated with Manson’s body-of-work. It’s a strangely joyful album from the artist, so it’s come out an appropriate time for his fans. 

A Story From Marilyn Manson

“We Are Chaos” is a concept album for Manson. He sees it as a story, one that lends itself to greater variances in interpretation. While speaking to Consequence of Sound, Manson compared the album to a novel with an arc in it: 

“I wanted the record to be a book. I’ve imagined I just filled all the pages with mirrors, and you fill in your own story when you listen to it. It’s a concept record that tells a story that’s going to be different for every single person, including me, every time I hear it, but it’s definitely, there’s an arc to it.

I’m still wrapping my head around it because it’s still new to me, but I always ask people, ‘Do you get a happy ending from it or is it a sad ending or is it tragic?’ I wanted it to be like any movie or any great book or any painting or any poem that it becomes part of the listener’s experience, not just mine.”

Paint You With My Love

The track “Paint You With My Love” is a perfect illustration of what Manson is talking about. The title, of course, is on the dirty side. Not exactly subtle, but the track runs deeper than its title. There’s both a crassness and beauty to the track. It’s Manson’s love song, a real deal love song full of sincerity, lovingness, and a background vocal out of a ‘50s hit pop song. It’s an excellent track with a heavenly-like arrangement and tone from Manson. The title track, “We Are Chaos,” creates a similarly euphoric atmosphere, as does “Half-Way & One Step Forward.”

The Rock Remains

Marilyn Manson hasn’t completely changed up his style with “We Are Chaos.” The rock still goes hard. “Don’t Chase the Dead” is Manson’s most full-throttle rock song. It’s great, and it’s full of the energy we want from Manson when we crank up one of his albums. It’s an album with a welcomed deal of variety and yet a singular, focused vision of something more optimistic from the artist.

Manson’s Feel-Good Album 

“We Are Chaos” ranks among some of Marilyn Manson’s finest work. It’s an album that bridges the past and the present from the artist. What’s familiar and what we love about the iconic artist remains, but he’s testing new waters with his latest work. “Feel-good” isn’t a common go-to description of Manson’s work, but lo and behold, “We Are Chaos” feels pretty damn good.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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