The High End of Low

At a time when extreme sex and violence are available 24/7/365 at the click of a mouse, Devil Incarnate is a career choice that pays increasingly diminishing returns. But Marilyn Manson still wants the gig. In 1996, refrains like "You're as pretty as a swastika" and "It's Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin'-geddon" might have raised a few hackles, but in 2009 those lyrics hold little shock value. The best moments come in ballads like the blues-tinged "Four Rusted Horses." In such songs, Manson is almost endearing: just a big, melancholy dude with face paint. It's a less glamorous job title than Antichrist Superstar, but these days, it suits him better.