Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Review: Nine Inch Nails "Year Zero"

I've mentioned my unwavering love of all things crazy and Bjork on this thread before, but I think Trent Reznor just one-upped her most successful musical experiment: Medulla.

No, the new Nine Inch Nails album "Year Zero" is not almost entirely ac capella (I wish, cause that would just be a dream), but it does try to push the boundaries of the music industry by taking apart the traditional thought process behind music and creating something that is both true to the earliest stages of music and completely out of this world/futuristic (take that Justin Timberlake).

The album is a sonic explosion of dissonance and loud electronic sequenced rock, and the overall feel and campaign of the record is incredible. Let me just pull up a quick screen grab of the flyer stuck to the back of the album to continue their year zero theme:

When Trent is in his full on sexy rocker mode, he made me contemplate whether or not I could ever love a man in that way (the track in question is Track 4, The Good Soldier, which is (not) surprisingly about sex). However, when the political discourse takes center stage (tracks 6-7 (Me, I'm Not and Capital G)), the album suffers. Me, I'm Not had an interesting enough production/arrangement behind it to be bearable, but Track 7 made me wish for the dulcet tones of Britney Spears "Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman Either", and I hate that song.

The best part of the album to me is the incredible campaign surrounding it, which is fully followed up with the environmentally friendly tri-fold paper based CD packaging, though the album does still contain a fully plastic (and harder to remove the disc from than usual) CD holder that kind of cancels out the environmental good will.

TrentSketch Safety Tip: Remove the CD booklet from the outside edge of the case, not the inside, otherwise you will rip and destroy your cardboard case.

Get this album. It's that good. Hopefully, the Grammys will reward NIN's efforts with an album of the year nomination (hey, they like the White Stripes, why not NIN). It's already guaranteed another victory in Alternative album (over Bjork...sigh, my girl just can't catch a break there).

Buy it. Now.

Varb For Me