Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Marilyn Manson: Mechanical Animals [Nothing, 1998]
If only the absurd aura of artistic respectability surrounding this arrant self-promoter would teach us that not every icon deserves a think piece, that it's no big deal to have a higher IQ than Ozzy Osbourne, that the Road of Excess leads to the Palace Theater. Instead, his banned-in-Wal-Mart slipcase job will fade into the haze of records people found interesting at the time. Its strategy is to camouflage the feebleness of La Manson's vocal affect by pretending it's deliberate--one more depersonalizing production device with which to flatten willing cerebella whilst confronting humankind's alienation, amorality, and failure to have a good time on Saturday night. Catchiest songs: "The Dope Show" and "I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)." Duh. C+