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CD Review: Marilyn Manson 

The High End of Low (Interscope)

Marilyn Manson and Eminem are both back this month, trying to be as scary as when they first appeared. Neither one succeeds. Eminen is reduced to TMZ-like punch lines and serial-killer pastiche, and Manson's just repeating himself, musically and lyrically. His last album, 2007's Eat Me, Drink Me, might have been a pitiable weepfest inspired by his breakup with Dita Von Teese, but at least that was unexpected. High End songs like "Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon" and "I Have to Look Up Just to See Hell" are Manson-by-numbers, from the sub-goth bass throb to his monotone, distorted vocals. The only real surprise is the mournful ballad "Running to the Edge of the World," which mixes acoustic guitars and choirs into something almost impressive. Everything else here is a thin cocktail of his influences (Nine Inch Nails, Alice Cooper, David Bowie) and his own past work. Maybe it's time we all moved on. — Phil Freeman


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