"We Are Chaos"
Cover art for the 7" vinyl edition
Single by Marilyn Manson
from the album We Are Chaos
ReleasedJuly 29, 2020 (2020-07-29)
GenreGlam rock[1]
Length4:05
LabelLoma Vista
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Manson
  • Jennings
Marilyn Manson singles chronology
"The End"
(2019)
"We Are Chaos"
(2020)
"Don't Chase the Dead"
(2020)
Music video
"We Are Chaos" on YouTube

"We Are Chaos" (stylized in all caps) is a song by American rock band Marilyn Manson, released on July 29, 2020, through Loma Vista Recordings as the lead single from their eleventh studio album of the same name. The song was written and produced by Manson and Shooter Jennings: Jennings wanted the song to sound like the music of Jeff Lynne and Elvis Presley. "We Are Chaos" received generally positive reviews upon release, with numerous publications comparing it to the work of The Beatles. It was also a commercial success, entering the top five of numerous music download and airplay charts, and was their third top ten hit on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Chart. A music video for the song was created by Matt Mahurin, which featured Manson's likeness being inserted into a series of surrealistic vignettes.

Composition and style

"We Are Chaos" (0:31) A 30-second sample of the first bridge and chorus of "We Are Chaos" Problems playing this file? See media help.

The song was written by the band's eponymous vocalist in collaboration with Shooter Jennings.[2][3] The lyrics contain political and religious references, but the song was primarily inspired by Manson "thinking about how I can relate to the rest of the world, emotionally and mentally, and not dwelling on politics or religion so much."[4] He said that although the track was written before the COVID-19 pandemic, its lyrics could be conflated with the pandemic; he argued that lockdown would have a severe impact on mental health while saying "being kept indoors for so long can really work at someone's emotions and their soul, and test their strength in a lot of ways."[5] The primary guitar used to record the track was an acoustic guitar tuned to Nashville tuning, which was doubled during recording by Jennings. He said the Nashville tuning "kind of adds that Jeff Lynn vibe. It was brought in to bring that Elvis meets Jeff Lynn vibe. Nashville tuning gives you the glimmer but you don't have that whole fucking hippy, '60s peace thing going on."[6]

Critical reception

Numerous publications compared the track to the work of The Beatles,[7][8] with Kerrang! specifically comparing it to the song "Across the Universe".[9] DIY said "We Are Chaos" was inspired by The Beatles' "brand of cathartic melancholia", describing it as a significant departure for Marilyn Manson and "an anarchic listen, but perhaps not in the way you are expecting."[8] A staff writer for Sputnikmusic said the track was an homage to two of the band's biggest influences: the Beatles and David Bowie. They elaborated that those two acts had been a primary influence on Manson's work since the 1998 album Mechanical Animals, and noted the track "perfectly displays the kind of duality the Beatles' sound is so well known for: it's an out of character set-piece teeming with optimism, juxtaposed with Manson's analytical motif about humanity's imminent doom."[7] Kerrang! complimented the song for being simultaneously apocalyptic and romantic, and said it was impossible to ascertain the sound of the parent album by listening to the song, writing: "For now, it's enough of a clue to know that what Marilyn Manson has in store is going to be something on a grand scale, and with a sense of class only he can unlock."[9]

Along with DIY,[8] BrooklynVegan described the song as a power ballad, "but in the brooding, creepy way that only Marilyn Manson would do a power ballad. Not bad at all."[10] Consequence of Sound complimented the track for being more acoustic than their earlier work, describing it as "both melodic and heavy at the same time. There's almost a pop quality to the song, but the macabre nature of the lyrics and vocals still make it very much a Marilyn Manson tune."[11] Other publications complimented the quality of the song's composition, with Idolator describing it as an unusually accessible and melodic track when compared with the rest of the band's discography.[12] USA Today said its lyrics were "signature Manson",[2] while American Songwriter said the chorus was "among the most visceral, primal expressions of inner turmoil since the unchained desperation of... 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. Manson's lyric, not unlike [Kurt] Cobain's, shows us a world in which reason, logic and hope have been abandoned and lost."[13]

Release and promotion

A music video for "We Are Chaos" premiered on YouTube on July 29, 2020.[14] It was directed, photographed and edited by Matt Mahurin while in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using computer-generated imagery and chroma key technology, Mahurin inserted Manson's likeness into a series of surrealistic vignettes.[14] The video features scenes such as Manson's brain being examined with a microscope,[2] and his brain being distilled into a "chaos pill" which is then placed on a disembodied tongue to create an army of clones rising from graves in a cemetery.[14]

The song was released as a one-track digital download on July 29, as the lead single from the album.[15] A limited edition 7" vinyl single was available with pre-orders of the album at Loma Vista's web store. The single was limited to 4,000 copies worldwide, and contained an exclusive b-side—a remix of the song created by Jennings.[16] "We Are Chaos" debuted at number thirty on the US active rock radio format on August 10, as the highest new entry that week.[17] It went on to peak at number eight on the chart dated October 24, when it was broadcast 1,208 times to over 2.35 million people.[18] On the mainstream rock format, the song peaked with 1,083 plays and a measured broadcast audience of 1.717 million on October 24.[19] The track peaked at number 8 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock, the band's third top ten hit on that chart.[20]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Marilyn Manson and Shooter Jennings.

Digital download
No.TitleProducer(s)Length
1."We Are Chaos"
  • Jennings
  • Manson
4:00
7" vinyl
No.TitleProducer(s)Length
1."We Are Chaos"
  • Jennings
  • Manson
4:05
2."We Are Khaos" (Remix)
  • Jennings
  • Manson
4:36

Personnel

Credits adapted from Tidal[21]

Charts

Chart (2020) Peak
position
Canada Active Rock (Billboard)[23] 31
Czech Rock Songs (ČNS IFPI)[24] 5
German Alternative Singles (Deutsche Alternative Charts)[25] 1
US Alternative Digital Songs (Billboard)[26] 12
US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs (Billboard)[27] 45
US Hard Rock Digital Songs (Billboard)[28] 1
US Hot Hard Rock Songs (Billboard)[29] 4
US Hot Rock Digital Songs (Billboard)[30] 4
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[20] 8
US Rock Airplay (Billboard)[31] 26

References

  1. ^ Kaufman, Spencer (September 8, 2020). "Marilyn Manson on WE ARE CHAOS, Pandemic Life, New Wave Influences, and Favorite David Bowie Album". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on September 10, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Dinges, Gary (July 29, 2020). "Marilyn Manson drops video for 'We Are Chaos', announces new album". USA Today. Archived from the original on September 24, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  3. ^ Reilly, Nick (July 29, 2020). "Watch the unsettling video for 'We Are Chaos', the title track from Marilyn Manson's new album". NME. Archived from the original on July 30, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  4. ^ Kaufman, Spencer (September 8, 2020). "Marilyn Manson on WE ARE CHAOS, Pandemic Life, New Wave Influences, and Favorite David Bowie Album". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on September 10, 2020. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  5. ^ Sara Taylor (September 1, 2020). "Marilyn Manson on 'CHAOS,' Collaboration, How Elton John Made Him Cry". Revolver. Archived from the original on September 10, 2020. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  6. ^ Horsley, Jonathan (September 23, 2020). "Shooter Jennings: "Marilyn Manson's miraculous poetic ability doesn't grow cold, like a lot of people's songwriting"". Guitar World. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Simon K. (Staff) (September 11, 2020). "Review: Marilyn Manson - We Are Chaos". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Johnstone Orr, Jack (July 31, 2020). "Tracks: Bilie Eilish, Bastille, Angel Olsen and more". DIY. Archived from the original on August 5, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Ruskell, Nick (July 29, 2020). "The First Reaction To Marilyn Manson's New Single, We Are Chaos". Kerrang!. Archived from the original on August 1, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  10. ^ Sacher, Andrew (July 31, 2020). "Marilyn Manson announces new album 'We Are Chaos,' shares video for title track". BrooklynVegan. Archived from the original on July 30, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  11. ^ Kaufman, Spencer (July 29, 2020). "Marilyn Manson Announces New Album We Are Chaos, Unleashes Title Track: Stream". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on August 1, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  12. ^ Wass, Mike (July 29, 2020). "Marilyn Manson Announces 11th Album 'We Are Chaos'". Idolator. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  13. ^ Zollo, Paul (September 11, 2020). "Inside "We Are Chaos," the new song & album by Marilyn Manson, Part 1". American Songwriter. Archived from the original on October 12, 2020. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  14. ^ a b c Shaffer, Claire (July 29, 2020). "Marilyn Manson Announces New Album 'We Are Chaos,' Shares Title Track". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on July 29, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  15. ^ Aniftos, Rania (July 29, 2020). "Marilyn Manson Announces 'We Are Chaos' Album, Drops Title Track & Video". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 1, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  16. ^ "Marilyn Manson – We Are Chaos. Vinyl LP, CD, Cassette, Download. Loma Vista Recordings". Loma Vista Recordings. Archived from the original on August 9, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  17. ^ "Exclusive Mediabase Analysis From All Access". Mediabase/AllAccess.com. August 10, 2020. Archived from the original on April 19, 2021. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  18. ^ "Mediabase 24/7 – 7 Day Charts". Mediabase. October 25, 2020. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  19. ^ "BDSRadio Charts | Billboard Mainstream Rock National Airplay". Billboard. October 24, 2020. Archived from the original on October 23, 2020. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  20. ^ a b "Marilyn Manson Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  21. ^ "Credits / WE ARE CHAOS / Marilyn Manson – TIDAL". TIDAL. July 29, 2020. Archived from the original on August 9, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  22. ^ "Marilyn Manson Returns With New Single, We Are Chaos". Kerrang!. July 29, 2020. Archived from the original on July 30, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  23. ^ "Top Canada Active Rock Song Chart". BDS Radio Systems. Archived from the original on September 22, 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  24. ^ "ČNS IFPI | Top 20 Modern Rock – We Are Chaos". ČNS IFPI. Archived from the original on April 19, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  25. ^ "Deutsche Alternative Charts – Woche: 41 Jahr: 2020 Kategorie: Single". Deutsche Alternative Charts. Archived from the original on October 6, 2020. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  26. ^ "Marilyn Manson Chart History (Alternative Digital Songs)". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 24, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  27. ^ "Marilyn Manson Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  28. ^ "Marilyn Manson Chart History (Hard Rock Digital Songs)". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 24, 2019. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  29. ^ "Marilyn Manson Chart History (Hot Hard Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  30. ^ "Marilyn Manson Chart History (Hot Rock Digital Songs)". Billboard. Archived from the original on November 24, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  31. ^ "Marilyn Manson Chart History (Rock Airplay)". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 24, 2019. Retrieved October 12, 2020.