The Slip

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Click for availability and more information The Slip, Nine Inch Nails

Trent Reznor surprised a lot of people earlier this year when he released four volumes of new instrumental music by Nine Inch Nails, Ghosts I-IV, online in multiple formats with some of those formats available for free. On May 5th he one-upped himself by releasing his new full-length album The Slip online, again in multiple file formats, but this time they were all for free, accompanied by a message to his fans: "thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years - this one's on me".
Radiohead, eat your heart out.
The album itself feels almost like a summary of the previous two decades of Nine Inch Nails' music, even while sounding fresh. Discipline and Echoplex are two of the more obvious "catchy, radio-friendly" tracks, the lyrics of which could be about music and then the music industry, respectively. The album actually starts off with the instrumental 999,999, building from a pensive mood with shades of Help Me I Am In Hell (from the Broken EP) working in the background until launching into the ferocious 1,000,000, kick-started with the awesome Josh Freese's roiling drum-work. While I admit I'm still not entirely sold on Letting You (the chorus is too cacophonous for me, and that's saying a lot), I happen to think the chorus of Head Down is pure gold from my own existential angst point-of-view. Lights In The Sky (for which the current tour is named, by the way) is a beautifully subdued piano-and-vocal melody. Following are the two moody instrumentals Corona Radiata and The Four Of Us Are Dying, leading in nicely to the final track Demon Seed, which escalates upon layers of menace and barely-restrained power toward the promise of more to come. Which is plenty fine by me.
The Slip is a solid album in its own right, and therefore truly a gift to the fans (even for those like me who still insist on purchasing and owning a physical copy), and having seen Nine Inch Nails in concert over the summer, I can absolutely verify that the new material translates from disc to stage with no loss and all gain. If you've never heard Nine Inch Nails before, or just not in a very long time, do yourself a favor and give this album a listen--chances are good that you might like what you hear.
-Will

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This page contains a single entry published on December 18, 2008 5:01 PM.

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