What a Friend We Have in Marilyn Manson: 18 Years with the God of (Expletive Deleted)

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.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty