Marilyn Manson has always appeared to squares as a black-winged serpent clad in ’30s business attire. To them, he’s the purest form of culture’s unspeakable evils. But did you know he’s still making albums? They’re quite elaborate things, shot full of concept but still sounding generally like a Vegas-show KMFDM. His dual existence as rocker and nihilistic roustabout perches him on a ledge between talent and celebrity; and if you look up, you’ll see him laughing uproariously. Lest We Forget celebrates both the man and his bleating, sometimes compelling music. It’s a dark catchphrase abstract of his career’s highest points, which are also convenient touchstones to what his persona represents. “Do you love your guns, God, and government?!” he screams over the stuttering hyper-industrial of the 2000 single “Love Song,” baiting his detractors in no uncertain terms. “mOBSCENE” endorses hedonism and reworked thrash metal; “Dope Show” — from ‘98’s astro-glam experiment Mechanical Animals — still has some trashy strut. Manson’s black lipstick versions of “Tainted Love” and “Sweet Dreams” are here, as is his new and decent take on “Personal Jesus,” and “Beautiful People” buzzes with skuzzy nostalgia for the mid-’90s reign of all things Nine Inch Nails. Lest We Forget — all chiller, no filler!
Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.