Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero review
|Band:||Nine Inch Nails|
|Release date:||April 2007|
02. The Beginning of the End
04. The Good Soldier
06. Me, I'm Not
07. Capital G
08. My Violent Heart
09. The Warning
10. God Given
11. Meet Your Master
12. The Greater Good
13. The Great Destroyer
14. Another Version of the Truth
15. In This Twilight
It seems to me like the whole world of music criticism has one big collective hard-on for Nine Inch Nails' latest magnum opus Year Zero - whether in print or online, reviewers do their best to construct the most pretentious and convoluted diatribes about how Trent's midlife crisis influences his music, the social significance of the album's guerrilla marketing tactics and how cool the color-changing thermo-chrome disc is. In the midst of all this what often seems to be lost is an honest look at how good the music on this album actually is. And the truth is, my friends, that Year Zero is an excellent album that really deserves to be heard, whether you want to consider its context or not.
Released a mere two years after the pop-oriented With Teeth and seven years after the overindulgence that was The Fragile, Year Zero really to me seems to have the most in common with The Downward Spiral (unquestionably NIN's finest effort). Once again we have noisy and cluttered songs that do their best to be grating to listen to but end up being shamelessly catchy. Also, once again we have an album that is really very close in sonic texture to what most pundits understand to be industrial music - the distorted synths, glitchy rhythms and fractured structures would definitely not be out of place on a Coil or Controlled Bleeding album. Naturally, there are still quite a few rock, metal and pop moments here. After all, this is Nine Inch Nails - the band that brought industrial music to the mainstream.
The first highlight of the album is "Survivalism" - an angry and anthemic song that represents as close as this album gets to rock music. The beautiful ambient piece "Another Version Of The Truth" is the logical opposite of this and indeed another highlight of the album. This is not to say that any of the other songs are particular mistakes - "God Given" offers an infectious electro-funk groove reminding me of Prince's glory days in the 80s, while "The Warning" could be the catchiest thing since the Pixies. "The Great Destroyer" starts as a rock song, delves into Queen-like territories and ends with a complete deconstruction freak-out a'la Download. Considering how noisy and harsh this album sounds upon initial hearing, it is a very pleasant experience to uncover these gems as we get more acquainted with the music.
Just as few bands had any chance at all against The Downward Spiral in 1995, so will it be very hard for anyone to release anything better than Year Zero this year (especially in the industrial rock/metal genre). Malcontents love to bash NIN for their pop leanings; however, seriously - there is no denying the genius of this music and it should definitely be a part of your collection this year.
||Written on 26.04.2007 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.|
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