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Music

Goth: Marilyn Manson

Josh Bell

Eat Me, Drink Me

**1/2

Marilyn Manson has been angry, menacing, outraged and downright mean; never before, though, has he been such a blubbering pile of emotion as he is on his new album, Eat Me, Drink Me. In the four years since the overblown The Golden Age of Grotesque, Manson married and then divorced burlesque performer Dita Von Teese, and has found new romance with teenage actress Evan Rachel Wood. His despair and pain over the end of his marriage, as well as his rapture over his current relationship, are all over Eat Me, which mixes pure romantic schmaltz with Manson’s traditional cartoonish death imagery.

Like a lovelorn Hot Topic shopper, Manson delivers lines like “She blew me her death-kiss/And the mouth-marks bled down my eyes” with such heartfelt sincerity that it’s almost cute. Even his vitriol, expressed in songs like “Mutilation Is the Most Sincere Form of Flattery,” is more about hurt feelings than retribution.

As touching as it is to witness the maturation of the Antichrist Superstar, though, a contemplative Manson is not a particularly exciting musical presence. The songs here are mostly droning, monotonous goth-rock, without the arena flair that brought us big, dumb anthems like “The Beautiful People” and “The Dope Show.” Manson doesn’t lash out at society, religion or the government even once on this album, and while his emotional growth is no doubt healthy, it’s made him into kind of a bore.

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