After five years of crazy stage antics, satanic posturings and shock-horror tabloid stories, Marilyn Manson has gradually become a bit of a joke. In his defence, however, it should be said that he's a joke who makes very entertaining pop albums. His sixth long player is an uneven but enjoyable slice of frenetic glam-rock which, with typical chutzpah, Manson claims is inspired by the decadence of Weimar Germany. Packed with squalling guitars, electro-metal sound effects and demonic vocals, it's difficult to take The Golden Age of Grotesque seriously - but it's equally difficult not to be seduced by its glorious silliness and fine sense of the ridiculous. These days, Manson claims to be 'the world's only true rock star, poet and soothsayer.' Of course, he's really just a pretentious chancer in make-up and suspenders. But the pop world would be a much more boring place without him - and that's what really counts.