Born Villain, Marilyn Manson's first album since 2009's The High End of Low, marks his debut as a cheeky pop-culture gawker, a far cry from where he was just a decade and a half ago.
I wrote about some of the best Manson myths on the occasion of his birthday back in January. He's not the snarling, scorched-earth God of Fuck from his parent-baiting '90s heyday anymore, but thankfully those rough edges remain on Villain.
The new album exhibits a playfulness that long-term fans know he had, but had not yet integrated into the music. Lead single "No Reflection" is a ready-made radio anthem in the vein of 1996's "The Beautiful People"; elsewhere, "The Gardener" offers an expert study into the ways of modern love -- or what passes for it these days -- via Iggy Pop circa The Idiot.
On Sunday night he plays the sold-out House of Blues, on Mother's Day no less. Sorry, Mom, I have a date with Manson. He hasn't been here since March 2, 2008, traipsing on the Rape or the World Tour.