Location: Vienna, Virginia, United States

A graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) and Washington and Lee University School of Law (2010). These are my personal blogs, and the musings expressed on them do not reflect the positions of my employer. They do reflect my readings, thoughts, and aspirations, which I figure is good enough.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

And Then Trent Reznor was like "Oh no you didn't"!

Omigod, Trent Reznor totally like has this new album out.

Actually, it's like, not released yet, but, like, I sooo needed to get it, cuz you know, it's like, whatever, right?

So like, this is Nine Inch Nails' like first album, in like, foreva, you know what I mean? It's been like . . . years? Tchaaa . . .

Okay, like, what are my first, like, impression-type things?

The album is called "With Teeth," which is kinda funny, cuz, you know, cuz it is. I wonder if the CD has teeth like the DVD for "Saw" did.

Anyway, like, Trent sounds like he had a bad experience with a girl or something like that. Cuz his music is all angry and stuff. I mean . . . "Every Day is Exactly the Same"? Depressing, dude. Lighten up a little.

I totally feel for him though, when he write stuff like "Will you bite the hand that feeds / Will you chew until it bleeds." Cuz, my dog, like, totally did that to me once. It hurt, man. Like . . . really hurt. What's with all the biting going on in this CD anyway? I like how he rhymes too in there. The lines end like . . . believe/feeds/bleeds/knees/see. Good golly! I could never write like that.

I don't really get it though, when he writes "I pick things up / I am the Collector." What's that all about?

And like, in the song "Love is Not Enough", when he rhymes apart and start, and are and far, and show and think so . . . realize and lies . . . tough and enough. . . . wow . . like . . . deep, dude.

Ok, that's enough of that. Honestly, it's a decent album. Some of the experimental stuff sounds excellent, and for the most part, I like the sound of the album. The song "Only" falls a little flat at the beginning, by virtue of it's literally funky beat, but otherwise, most of the material is recognizably NIN, yet refreshing to a certain extent.

Lyrically though, it really suffers. The above rhymes are actually in the CD, and it's often telegraphed badly. For instance, when Trent sings " . . . and smash it apart / I've gone all this fucking way / to wind up, wind up back at the start," that just kills the song. I mean, Closer went "my whole is existence is flawed / you bring me closer to God." Those lyrics hit hard. smash it apart? back at the start? it sounds like something the Offspring might write.

It's hard to imagine Trent Reznor writing some of these lyrics. One never wants to even think of using the word trite to describe his lyrics, but I came dangerously close to thinking of them that way on some of the songs. Not a good sign.

The title song "With Teeth" is actually the worst song on the album, if only because Trent sings the lyrics "With Teeth" as "With-uh Teeth-uh." It sounds like a valley girl accent (or alternatively, a Wisconsin accent, whatever you think is worse - Wisconin valley girl?), and considering how often he repeats it, it gets damn irritating. It's grating not in a traditional, NIN kind of way, which would be good, but a bad, "I went high school with girls that talked like that" kind of grating.

All that said, there are good songs on the album. The single, "The Hand That Feeds," is radio-friendly, but it is a decent song.

If I have an even bigger criticism, it is that there are no anthemic songs on the album. There's no standout song, like a Hurt or a Closer on this album. You think NIN, you think what a Rage in the Machine mosh pit might look like, only three times as frenetic and chaotic, and with razor blades. There's no song on this album that has that raw feeling. I suppose "Every Day is Exactly the Same" is probably the most well written, but the chorus falls a little flat and while it's not a bad thing, it is one of the slowest songs on the album.

Conduct an experiment. Make a playlist, with "Downward Spiral" and "With Teeth", and set it on random. The contrast is obvious, of course, since they were released over ten years apart, but what's more shocking is the absolute dip in quality, in my opinion. I didn't like all the tracks on "The Fragile" either, Starfuckers Inc being a very silly song, and I'd say this album isn't that much stronger or weaker.

Then again, perhaps I'm just expecting too much. Years of silence since their last album have built up insurmountable expectations, really. It's on a similar level to what people expected from Audioslave, after Rage broke up. And Audioslave turned out okay. So I'll enjoy this album for what it is: it sounds good, and it's still Nine Inch Nails. But I might just delete "With Teeth."


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