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NIN :: The Nine Inch Nails Discussion Thread
#1
Recently, Trent Reznor has brought Nine Inch Nails back to being one of the most interesting music acts working today. His extraordinary output as of late, as well as his progressive views on distribution have put NIN on the cutting edge once again.

With all of this activity lately, we've been talking about NIN a lot. The new tour is about to start roaring so I foresee even more talk. I think it's about time we had a centralized thread for this band (as I sure as hell can't find one).
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#2
I wondered if one of these should be started, but Renn beat me.

As I discussed in another thread I just bought (well, got for free in a 2 for 1) Beside You in Time and the presentation is fantastic. I so wish I could actually see this live.
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#3
I've honestly been dicking around making this thread for almost three months. Looking over ticketmaster to remind myself of the concert date convinced me that now was the time.

I can't fucking wait till the 13th. Though, I've still got an unassigned ticket I need to sell or convince a friend to buy. I should probably get on that before I get fucked over.

EDIT: 1500th post. 1500 on the day after my one year mark on the boards. How delightfully neat and tidy. Heh, at this rate it will take me 20 years to approach Devin's current post count.
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#4
Weeks ago I declared The Slip NIN's best album since The Downward Spiral. Today, I have no qualms in sticking with my opinion. In terms of quality, The Slip is a fascinating, seriously satisfying comeback. And, by golly, it actually holds up!

To those that haven't given the new disc a chance for one reason or another (DaveB?...if you're reading this thread), The Slip delivers the goods. Honest.
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#5
thank you for making this thread, i seriously was considering making it as well today.

after seeing the rehearsal videos up at http://www.nin.com today i can't even imagine how phenomenal the shows are going to be. i was curious how the drum machine beat on "echoplex" would play out live, but seeing josh play with the machine excited the hell out of me.

my winnipeg and minneapolis shows cannot come soon enough.
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#6
Yeah, The Slip is good the only problem I have with it is "Corona Radita" could have been 2 minutes shorter. Then again I'm hypocrite in that sense, because when I made my ambient/soundscape shit for my audio class it went on for over 7 minutes.

Still a very good album, plus it was free.
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#7
We had a NIN thread cooking along when the Slip came out.

They are my favourite band and I like all their stuff including the unpopular With Teeth.

Trent is in a weird place popularity wise. He's shaking things up with the distribution model and he gets a lot of kudos from the Internet community for that even if they don't like the music. He's never been played on regular radio and is now not trendy enough for the alternative stations (not in Australia anyway). Despite that there is a solid fanbase, and it seems he's picking up new fans from all sorts of different places.

Also, here's some clips from the tour rehearsals:

http://www.pitchfork.tv/special-pres...rsals/echoplex
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#8
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray Abed
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To those that haven't given the new disc a chance for one reason or another (DaveB?...if you're reading this thread), The Slip delivers the goods. Honest.

I've given Reznor three or four "last chance"s by now. It's not that I dislike his output since "The Downward Spiral"; I outright hate most of it and feel embarassed for both myself for listening to it and for him for releasing it.

So, with that in mind, do you still think The Slip is worth my time? If you do, maybe I'll give it a shot, but the first lazy rhyme I hear about his amorphous, still-lingering adolescent angst is my signal to proclaim you all shameless apologists.
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#9
Quote:

Originally Posted by DaveB
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I'll give it a shot, but the first lazy rhyme I hear about his amorphous, still-lingering adolescent angst is my signal to proclaim you all shameless apologists.

DaveB, you've got a head like a hole. It's black as your soul. Real NIN fans would rather die than give you control of this thread. (And something rhyming "scab" with "bad."Wink
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#10
I'm not the most qualified person to give you advice on music. Not by a long shot. But something really seems to have changed about Reznor in The Slip. I think it's the best thing he's done since The Downward Spiral. I could be wrong and letting my fanboyism cloud my judgment, though.
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#11
Quote:

Originally Posted by DaveB
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So, with that in mind, do you still think The Slip is worth my time? If you do, maybe I'll give it a shot, but the first lazy rhyme I hear about his amorphous, still-lingering adolescent angst is my signal to proclaim you all shameless apologists.

Ha! I was just having a conversation last night with a friend of mine, comparing Marilyn Manson and Trent's over-lingering adolescent angst. Someone needs to give these guys a hug. For real.

Note: I am still somewhat of a NIN apologist though. The Slip is nowhere near The Downward Spiral; however, it has been giving me indications that Trent might be getting more on track.
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#12
If you don't like The Fragile, I don't even want to know you.
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#13
Well, The Slip (and Ghosts) made a new fan out of me.

I've really enjoyed the last few months of digging through the NIN catalog. Obviously not all of it is gold, but discovering The Downward Spiral was akin to a religious experience for me. God I wish I could go back and give my teenage adolescent-agnsty self that CD instead of the stupid bullshit like Korn that I was listening to, I'd be a better artist today I have no doubt. I still have more to listen to, and still have to get his musical timeline correct in my head but I'm enjoying ever minute of it.

Dave, I hope you listen to and enjoy The Slip. I don't know what you are looking for from NIN at this point, but for my money (imaginary money in this case) it's fucking great.
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#14
The problem with Trent Reznor is that when he did The Downward Spiral it was this evolutionary sound leap forward. His distopian (but whiny) vision had a visceral soundscape, similar to the evolutionary leap of Dr. Dre with the Chronic. And then he put out a bunch of albums that didn't have that cohesion, nor lacked that vision except in fits and spurts. If this doesn't have that scope, what's the point? Pretty Hate Machine is Pretty not good, but in its time it was a step forward, I guess.

Also, it makes you respect Marylin Manson because at least there, the pathos is at least a show, it's just a million times more phoney when you're a rich dude whining like a 14 year old girl (or 16 year old dude) for going on 20 years now. And that Reznor is still playing to that audience makes most of his follow up albums as sad and as artistically bankrupt as the prequel trilogy.
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#15
I guess I don't hear the same immature whining in the newer stuff. Things like Echoplex and Discipline still have angst or discontent or whatever you want to call it, but the tone has more depth than some of the older stuff I've listened to.
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#16
Touching on what Andre and Dave said, I wouldnt call his post-Spiral material bad, per say. But it's all definitely just one-more-time-without-feeling.
I guess he just dug as deep as he could go.
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#17
I still think Year Zero(as messy as it is) is the best thing he's done since Spiral. The Slip is good, but it feels... slight. I really only find myself coming back to the second half of the album(which has 2 instrumentals).

I love NIN's instrumental stuff, but the Slip is 10 tracks and 3 of them are instrumental. I figured he would have gotten his fill after Ghosts.
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#18
The Fragile and with Teeth are bothe guilty as charged with some auful angsty lyrics from a 35 and then 40 year old man. (I still like the music)

However Year Zero moves into more interesting territory with the 15 years in the future back story, Ghosts has no lyrics and The Slip seems more mature.

The main draw card for me is the music. It's this weird niche of electronic music with pop sensabilities and enough grit to stop it sounding like New Order (most of the time).

I can understand people turning off. My wife was a massive NIN fan but she can't stand it anymore.

Also, to anyone thinking about The Slip, just go get it. It's free. Or listen to that link I posted earlier of the rehearsals.
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#19
I said this a long time ago, but anyone expecting poetry out of Trent Reznor's lyrics after the age of 16 is deluded. The music is what has always put him heads and shoulders above the rest, and although I can grant that With Teeth and Year Zero were lax in that department, with occasional high points (The more I hear it, the more I realize All The Love In The World turning into electro-gospel at the end is one of the best musical curveballs in history), the man still knows how to layer sounds to give those words something epic to play off of. What makes these last two albums different and fresh is that Trent's letting the music just flow first, with the lyrics as sort of an afterthought. Argument can be made that that's what he's been doing since TDS, but in everything before he left Interscope, he's trying to create synergy between music and lyrics. He basically says "Fuck it" to that idea with The Slip. As a result, we meet the real Trent, 2008. And that motherfucker is happy.
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#20
My view on Reznor's work has looked like this as of late:

Bad:
The Fragile
With Teeth (All the Love in the World is amazing, I'll give the album that.)
Ghosts I-IV

Good:
Everything else.

Year Zero was a stunningly cool rebound after the depressingly insipid With Teeth, and The Slip is a very concise and well written album, if a bit slight, as someone above put it.
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#21
Quote:

Originally Posted by DaveB
View Post
I've given Reznor three or four "last chance"s by now. It's not that I dislike his output since "The Downward Spiral"; I outright hate most of it and feel embarassed for both myself for listening to it and for him for releasing it.

So, with that in mind, do you still think The Slip is worth my time? If you do, maybe I'll give it a shot, but the first lazy rhyme I hear about his amorphous, still-lingering adolescent angst is my signal to proclaim you all shameless apologists.

Heh. Let me just say I expected Chinese Democracy to be released before NIN put out an album again that I can safely say I loved. I'm definitely as far as an apologist as you can expect. NIN hasn't really been on my radar since 1999, after the disappointing The Fragile left me unnurtured and bruised. Musically is where The Slip comes back firing on all cylinders. Lyrically, it's not a departure for Reznor, but just like with Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral, the lyrics are used as a paintbrush, adding texture and drive to the surrounding beats and sounds. The lyrics don't lampoon and blotch the music like they have been doing on NIN's recent albums.

There's a clarity, finesse, and tight vision wrapped around The Slip. Trent is no longer bullshitting and biting off more than he can chew. He's allowing his intuition to steer the music again, and it's led to some visceral and aurally transcendent compositions.

That said, DaveB, I think if you can still listen to Pretty Hate Machine or The Downward Spiral with a straight face, you will find some worth in The Slip. On the other hand, if your disconnect from NIN has reached a universal level, The Slip will, well, slip into irrelevance.
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#22
First: DaveB, stay away from The Slip. If you haven't liked NIN since The Downward Spiral, you will find nothing in The Slip to change your mind. I like the album but many here are delusional.

Second: Something that comes up in every discussion about Reznor on the the CHUD boards: his angst being a manifestation of his immaturity. I find this to be weird. Is angst something that is only normal in adolescents? Is it that I don't understand the meaning of angst (language barrier maybe)? Should he be singing with bitterness instead?
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#23
Quote:

Originally Posted by The Alexor
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First: DaveB, stay away from The Slip. If you haven't liked NIN since The Downward Spiral, you will find nothing in The Slip to change your mind. I like the album but many here are delusional.

Delusional? Nah. I never said The Slip was in the same league as The Downward Spiral. If Spiral is a 9.0, The Slip
is a respectable 7.5. There's enough strong material to warrant a listen or two, at the very least.
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#24
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray Abed
View Post
Delusional? Nah. I never said The Slip was in the same league as The Downward Spiral. If Spiral is a 9.0, The Slip
is a respectable 7.5. There's enough strong material to warrant a listen or two, at the very least.

What I meant is that you are delusional if you think The Slip will turn him around about NIN. It's a good album and it is different. But it's mostly different from a NIN fan's point of view.

Here's what DaveB said:

Quote:

I've given Reznor three or four "last chance"s by now. It's not that I dislike his output since "The Downward Spiral"; I outright hate most of it and feel embarassed for both myself for listening to it and for him for releasing it.

I just don't see why he would suddenly change his mind. Ghosts is a bigger departure from the usual NIN than The Slip his. I feel The Slip is more a summary of what NIN has become over the years than braking new ground. I would also say Year Zero was more of an evolution than The Slip.
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#25
I agree with The Alexor, if anything was going to turn DaveB around on NIN it would either be Year Zero or (more likely)Ghosts. I don't hear anything on the Slip that would sway someone who no longer liked the band.

*edit- Other than the fact that it's free.
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#26
Quote:

Originally Posted by The Alexor
View Post
What I meant is that you are delusional if you think The Slip will turn him around about NIN. It's a good album and it is different. But it's mostly different from a NIN fan's point of view.

Here's what DaveB said:



I just don't see why he would suddenly change his mind. Ghosts is a bigger departure from the usual NIN than The Slip his. I feel The Slip is more a summary of what NIN has become over the years than braking new ground. I would also say Year Zero was more of an evolution than The Slip.

Points taken, but I wasn't under the impression that DaveB was looking for something revolutionary-sounding from NIN...perhaps just some solid music? I certainly don't think The Slip will miraculously make him a NIN diehard again. Hell, it didn't make me one. What it did, though, is give me a fine album to play during the summer months.
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#27
Angsty lyrics or not, check this out! Trent released the download information for The Slip as a Google Earth file so you can see who all over the world got it.

It's at http://www.nin.com.

For example here is Australia.

http://www.nin.com/images/nin-downloads-australia.jpg

I'm somewhere in the tower that goes up near the word 'number' (eg. 'to see the total number').
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#28
I just checked out that map; pretty cool idea. Looks like I'm one of 345 in my city to download The Slip.
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#29
I too am one of the 300-something in my backwoods Canada town to download it. It's like a tiny spike in the middle of nowhere.
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#30
Quote:

Originally Posted by The Alexor
View Post
Second: Something that comes up in every discussion about Reznor on the the CHUD boards: his angst being a manifestation of his immaturity. I find this to be weird. Is angst something that is only normal in adolescents? Is it that I don't understand the meaning of angst (language barrier maybe)? Should he be singing with bitterness instead?

When discussing rock music, "angst" tends to carry a connotative meaning beyond the dictionary definition, which on its face could probably just as easily apply to Bergman as NIN. The connotation is that the angst expressed by NIN (or Korn or what-have-you) is a sort of unsophisticated, inarticulate anger at the world, oneself, or authority. It dwells on a barely-defined psychic pain that's particularly relatable for teens and young adults who have just started to realize that life simply isn't fair. There are a lot of accusatory "you"s, vague references to pain and sorrow, and, in the odd instance that the songwriter takes responsibility for any actions on his own part, it goes too far in the other direction, attributing all manner of evil to himself (see "Hurt," for instance). It's, again, a megalomania that a teen can love.

Last night, I was watching the documentary on Joy Division that came out last year, which helped illustrate the difference between a more interesting, eloquent angst and that expressed by Reznor, etc. Ian Curtis was only 23 when he died, which is a couple years younger than Trent Reznor was when he released Pretty Hate Machine, but his lyrics, which dealt in some of the same existential dread, were already more artful and insightful than Reznor has yet been able to achieve. Reznor's music is b-grade horror movie stuff by comparison. It's just sort of embarassing that this guy's putting out supposedly heartfelt music that sounds like it was written by a 14-year-old who just got dumped. Even Year Zero came off like dystopian lit for pre-teens.
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#31
I downloaded The Slip because it's FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
But when I listened to it it came to MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

The man can't write lyrics to save his LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFEE!
And I'm sick of him singing about all his STRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFEE!
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#32
I heard he collaborated with Saul Williams on Williams' latest album. However iTunes will not let me buy the one song I do want. That being his Sunday Bloody Sunday cover. How freakin arbitrary.
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#33
Quote:

Originally Posted by Parker
View Post
I downloaded The Slip because it's FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
But when I listened to it it came to MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

The man can't write lyrics to save his LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFEE!
And I'm sick of him singing about all his STRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFEE!

Hey, be fair. For all his lyrical weaknesses, Trent has never resorted to the hated life/strife rhyme, which to me is the second worst of all time (the worst being love/glove).
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#34
Worst is actually me/free.

But I digress.
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#35
Quote:

Originally Posted by DaveB
View Post
When discussing rock music, "angst" tends to carry a connotative meaning beyond the dictionary definition, which on its face could probably just as easily apply to Bergman as NIN. The connotation is that the angst expressed by NIN (or Korn or what-have-you) is a sort of unsophisticated, inarticulate anger at the world, oneself, or authority. It dwells on a barely-defined psychic pain that's particularly relatable for teens and young adults who have just started to realize that life simply isn't fair. There are a lot of accusatory "you"s, vague references to pain and sorrow, and, in the odd instance that the songwriter takes responsibility for any actions on his own part, it goes too far in the other direction, attributing all manner of evil to himself (see "Hurt," for instance). It's, again, a megalomania that a teen can love.

Last night, I was watching the documentary on Joy Division that came out last year, which helped illustrate the difference between a more interesting, eloquent angst and that expressed by Reznor, etc. Ian Curtis was only 23 when he died, which is a couple years younger than Trent Reznor was when he released Pretty Hate Machine, but his lyrics, which dealt in some of the same existential dread, were already more artful and insightful than Reznor has yet been able to achieve. Reznor's music is b-grade horror movie stuff by comparison. It's just sort of embarassing that this guy's putting out supposedly heartfelt music that sounds like it was written by a 14-year-old who just got dumped. Even Year Zero came off like dystopian lit for pre-teens.

Of course you're right. But I tend to cut Reznor some slack in the lyrical department, as I don't generally listen for the lyrics as much as his arrangement/mixing/production technique, which continues to intrigue me.

For what it's worth he may be self-conscious about lyrics himself; he's admitted having problems with writer's block, the amount of material he's released this year is a glaring exception to his general 2-5 year gap between albums (bearing in mind that about two thirds of the music he's released this year has been instrumental), and he's released what, like three b sides in his entire career.
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