Charles Manson - Air (Cover Artwork)

Charles Manson

Charles Manson: AirAir (2010)
Magic Bullet Records

Reviewer Rating: 1

Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's worth noting that Charles Manson's most famous recording, LIE: The Love & Terror Cult (cut in 1967; released in 1970), has received fairly positive reviews for its admittedly well-done collision of psychedelia and folk. If one can keep an open mind, it's easy to separate the man as a talented c.
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It's worth noting that Charles Manson's most famous recording, LIE: The Love & Terror Cult (cut in 1967; released in 1970), has received fairly positive reviews for its admittedly well-done collision of psychedelia and folk. If one can keep an open mind, it's easy to separate the man as a talented composer from the horrendous acts he perpetrated. (And if you somehow have no idea what I'm talking about, pay a visit to Wikipedia, and try to enjoy prom.) That being said, the 76-year-old Manson has a (relatively) new album out called Air...and it's really, really boring.

Air is supposedly the first record in a series of albums conceptually extending from Manson's personal environmental beliefs. (Though there seems to be little ground made on releasing the second installment, Trees, from a cursory Googling.) But lyrically, it's hard to grasp exactly what advice Manson is trying to convey, or what we should do to heed his probable recommendation to consume more efficiently (or not at all?).

Musically, it's just Manson and his guitar, and it's probably generous to call his languid folk songs Delta Blues: His guitar playing is so slow and stagnant it's anxiety inducing; every song flows with the movement of molasses; and Manson doesn't so much sing as he does mumble and ramble, usually incoherently. There's some sort of rhythm and melody suddenly established in "Bird", but otherwise, the tracks are pretty hard to distinguish. Manson starts to blather like some sad, Alzheimer's afflicted version of George Carlin over loose, scattershot strums in "Gas Chamber". And with "World Perspectives" and "Air Is the King", it's almost as though Air devolves into a traipsing spoken-word album. Yeah, he's passionate about this, but he has some trouble conveying it...or making it remotely relatable. "East Bound Train" actually feels like a song, but it cuts out quickly and meanders to its end.

Okay, sure: The conditions Air was recorded in are vastly different from LIE. Where LIE involved a session at a professional recording studio with a Beach Boy, Air is raw and home(prison-)made, with a steady level of tape hiss riding the audio. But there are countless singer-songwriters who have flourished in these conditions, with both limited production and social isolation, and been able to come out with records that are purely heartwrenching, or lyrically or musically interesting. Air is not one of these records, and Charles Manson is not one of these singer-songwriters–at least, not in 2010, and probably not in 2011, either.

East Bound Train


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
encorp (April 15, 2011)

I don't care what you say. "Look at your game girl" is an absolutely amazing song.

FLHC (April 14, 2011)

is he playing the Fest this year?

damnitsderek (April 13, 2011)

Holidays are that special time
When we laugh and sing and feel warm and cozy
Forget about being angry for a day
Remember how it felt to be a child
Opening presents on Christmas mornin'
That's the way we should all feel now
That's why I say
Happy Happy Holi Holi Happy Happy Holi Holi Holiday
And Kwanza too, from me to you
Happy Hollidays, everyone

Dante3000 (April 12, 2011)

To my knowledge these are not the songs that Rollins helped him record. And seriously, the guy has just as much right to put these out as anyone. I'm not condoning what he's convicted of but prisoners in America are allowed rights and if they want to record something and someone's willing to release it, that's their right. That said, I have heard pretty much universally that this is bad.

lostcausegiveup (April 12, 2011)

i agree that calling attention to manson isn't a good thing, but at the same time, it's not exactly a glowing review.

thepopeofchili-town (April 12, 2011)

I listen to black metal bands that kill and eat each other, so I can't really say anything.

ExtraCheesePizza (April 12, 2011)

Gross, why review something by this piece of shit? Shame on Magic Bullet for releasing this.

misterspike (April 12, 2011)

"Welp, nice knowing you, Brian."

I lol'd.

lostcausegiveup (April 12, 2011)

a girl i briefly dated about 5 or 6 years ago and i got into a discussion about helter skelter, and manson one day. it was only a little ways into the "relationship", so i kinda went along with the conversation, even though i thought he sucked musically. afterwards she brought me back to her basement apartment. which was covered in manson posters. complete with "helter skelter" shrine. did i leave? yes. but, ashamedly, not right away.

overdefined (April 12, 2011)

Welp, nice knowing you, Brian.

misterspike (April 12, 2011)

Are these the songs that Rollins had helped him put together? He spoke about it a bit on Marc Maron's WTF podcast a couple months ago.

outbreak (April 12, 2011)

Why is Magic Bullet putting this out?

keithybobeefy (April 12, 2011)

I remember having a conversation with an ex about Charles Manson and his music. I said it was awful and she said he was a good singer. We're no longer together and I imagine the conversation about CM's music had something to do with it.

jimmynorville (April 12, 2011)

I hope someone shows Charles Manson the internet and this is the first thing he sees.

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