Monday, March 3, 2008

The Ghost of Trent Reznor

Tonight marked the arrival of the self released new album from Nine Inch Nails, "Ghosts I - IV". The album is entirely instrumental, and covers almost two complete hours of music. Joining Reznor during the 10 day recording of this creation was Adrian Belew, Alan Moulder, Atticus Ross, Alessandro Cortini, and Brian Viglione. As NIN left their label last fall, the album is being released by Reznor himself, one of the pioneers of the anti-record label format. Having been signed since the late 80's, Trent Reznor has embraced being able to do things his own way and at his own pace. This album is available exclusively through They are offering several different formats of the album, at various prices. Not sure if you really want to hear an entirely instrumental NIN album? Download Ghosts I for free from the website. Enjoy what you heard? Download the entire album, 36 tracks total, for just $5. Included in that download is a 40 page PDF booklet that you can be sure contains great typical NIN artwork. If you're like me, and you still love having a CD and hard copy of the album, that also is available for the low price of $10. While the CD wont ship until early April, the ability to download the album in the meantime is included free of charge. Seems like a great idea to me, as I am impatient and don't want to wait, but do very much want a real CD copy of the album.

The albums sound is pretty much like what you would expect Nine Inch Nails to sound like if Trent wasn't singing. They do explore more avenues of sounds and style than normal, given enormous amounts of freedom. Ventures into almost complete ambient soundscapes compete with industrial distorted mayhem, slow piano compositions, and more on this eclectic collection.

Personally, I have a great deal of trouble listening to entirely instrumental music. No matter how talented the musicians are, I always can't help but feel like I'm waiting for the lyrics to begin. While bands like Mogwai, Red Sparrows, and Explosions in the Sky are all able to portray stories without the use of vocals, I still find myself far less inclined to listen to them on a regular basis. This opinion of mine is only strengthened by this release. Already knowing the amazing voice of Trent Reznor, I am left feeling like I'm missing out on what could have been. Don't get me wrong, the music is great, everything you would expect a Nine Inch Nails album to be, and then some. Trent Reznor's vocals however, are what really brings out the melody in NIN songs, taking them from strange musical tinkerings and thrashings, and tying them all together.

Having said that, I still bought the album as I will actively support anything Trent Reznor does for the most part. I do of course have an idea to take this album from a cool project to certifiable greatness! So if anyone reading this has anyway to contact Mr. Reznor, please let me know, or let him know. I think it would be exceptionally incredible if he were to later release an entirely a cappella vocal album to coincide with this. Listeners could then put on both albums simultaneously for an amazing NIN experience. Just the thought of it excites me more than you know!

This is the second release album Reznor has released through the "pay if you'd like" model since leaving the majors. The first is a phenomenal album he produced and co-created with hip-hop/spoken word artist Saul Williams. I've said for years that Reznor would be a great hip-hop producer, and he decided it was finally time to prove me right. The album, "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!," is available to download for free or $5 at Wondering what exactly this sounds like? Imagine NIN making a hip-hop album with incredibly conscious lyricism that rivals any MC in hip-hop today. Add in the melodies of Trent and Saul singing together to create a sound so unique and fulfilling. Oh, and there is even an awesome cover of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday." A great album, filled with social and political commentary, that I highly recommend to fans of both rock and rap/hip-hop music alike. Share this album with friends, as it really is a must hear to believe. Saul Williams is currently going on tour in support of this album, and I am sure to catch this when it rolls around to NYC. Will Trent Reznor be there accompanying him? I can only hope so!

1 comment:

ridd1 said...

this is actually a really great record to have on when you're working or in my case drawing. lots of great sounds. i too will buy anything trent releases based alone on how he's releasing it, but I wasn't at all disappointed with this release. I think he needed to get it out of his system. look for the next record to be very 'in your face' methinks.