Marilyn Manson Mechanical Animals
Out of every Manson album out there, i think this one really showcased how creative and conceptual he could be as an artist. Although the previous album 'Antichrist Superstar' was strong, 'Mechanical Animals' proved he could do more than just hard metal.
There's a more glam rock vibe to the songs mixed in with Manson's token thrashy rock. Songs like 'Rock Is Dead' and 'Dope Show' sound like trademark shouty Marilyn, and 'Fundementally Loanesome' is probably the most unique track on the record, with obvious inspiration taken from old skool glam David Bowie.
As great as the faster songs on the album are ['Posthuman' has a bit of a Prodigy vibe to it], it's the slower tracks that really stand out for me. 'Coma White', 'The Last Day On Earth' and 'Speed of Pain' are probably my three favourite songs from the album. All 3 of them are beautifully produced with eerie synthy verses and big sweeping choruses.
As far as image goes, Manson played a lot of with gender reversal during this era. He's depicted as an androgenous alien with breasts and no genitals on the album cover, and he dropped the the darker gothic look he'd been carrying for years and coloured it up with silvers and bright colours in his costumes. It was all very Ziggy Stardust.
His popularity and relevancy has wained over the last decade, but i'm still a fan of his current music. He knows how to write a good hook, and that's not an easy thing for me to find when it comes to metal. Say what you will about how "done" he is now, but Mechanical Animals is a masterpiece, and a good representation of the highest point of his career. I love it.