NINE INCH NAILS – Ghosts I-IV and The Slip (2008)

Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts I-IV Trent Reznor, now free from the shackles of commercial distribution, is dropping new albums on us all over the place (perhaps to make up for the 5-6 year gap us NIN fans had become accustomed to). The first of these albums is Ghosts I-IV, a four disc collage dark and minimal ambience. It’s a bit of an experiment for Mr. Reznor, whose previous work usually incorporates sounds like these as well as sonic turbulence of the highest magnitude on the same album (and often in the same song). It’s only partially successful. At times, it’s engrossing, but too much of the time, it feels like the aural equivalent of watching paint dry.

Nine Inch Nails - The Slip

The Slip, on the other hand, is a proper NIN release, and a damn good one at that. It feels sort of like With Teeth’s older, more mature brother. Now, I’ve got nothing against With Teeth, but after 6 years, I was ready to accept anything that Trent was going to give us with open arms and no complaints. But a few years have given me some distance, and I now can admit what I didn’t (or perhaps, couldn’t) back then: the five middle tracks of With Teeth, are, well, pretty terrible (with Only being the worst offender).

The Slip, conversely, suffers no such lulls. It’s just one groovy industrial rampage after another. The album effortlessly blends the texturization of NIN’s later work with the dark power of their earlier work, and it does without any of the With Teeth casualties. This may prove to be the best NIN work since 1999’s criminally underrated The Fragile.

Both albums were released online. Ghosts I-IV had a variety of pricing and package options, while The Slip was offered up to the masses as a gift (a physical release is planned for later this year). Ever since Radiohead shocked the music world last year by dropping In Rainbows on the populace for whatever they wanted to pay, the digital release idea has grown in popularity. The newest album by Saul Williams The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! (which was produced by Trent) was released in a similar manner. Elsewhere, Gregg Gillis of Girl Talk is following suit with his newest release, Feed The Animals, which is available from Illegal Art for the price of…whatever.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: