Marilyn Manson, 'The Pale Emperor' (January 20th)
"It's dirty," Marilyn Manson says of his forthcoming ninth album in the new issue of Rolling Stone, "like the dirt under my nails, like someone who has dug a grave." If Manson seemed to be digging his own grave with his last few records, which were not particularly well-received either by fans or critics, The Pale Emperor represents a creative rebirth – and a much-needed maturation. Written with soundtrack composer Tyler Bates (Guardians of the Galaxy, Californication), the album is bluesy and menacing, weathered and worn in the best way, with Manson sounding all and more of his 46 years on swamp-goth anthems like "Third Day of a Seven Day Binge" and "Cupid Carries a Gun." Has the God of Fuck actually grown up? Judging from this new shit, it's hard to say no. B.G.