11/09/1998 at 01:00 AM EST
>MECHANICAL ANIMALS Marilyn Manson (Nothing/Interscope) Like Alice Cooper and David Bowie before him, gender-twister Manson delivers the ultimate shock: a tuneful, brightly imagined pop album. Don't worry, folks, the kids are only dancing to it.
MAKE SOME NOISE Liquid Soul (Ark 21) Sax maestro Mars Williams and his hip, hoppin' jazz-funk combo create a rocking fusion by sampling the works of musicians as diverse as Dizzy Gillespie and James Brown.
MAGAZINE Jump, Little Children (Atlantic/Breaking) A genre-jumping band builds a wall-of-guitars sound here, assays a lo-fi ballad there, and then gets creepy with the ditty "Body Parts."