Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Nine Inch Nails With Teeth Review
As mentioned previously, I am a NIN fan from the 90s and have eagerly awaited the next NIN record. With Teeth was released earlier this month, and I've been listening to it non-stop. So it's about time that I put $0.02 out there about it.

A sidenote of the Napster/iTunes age of digital music is that the idea of "album oriented" music is really over, at least for popular music. Many people will decry this, but I won't bother since it's usually stupid to protest progress. Albums (CDs more accurately) really are the sum of their songs and nothing more these days, so I will go through With Teeth, song-by-song.

All The Love In The World
I liked this song instantly. From the mellow build-up to the disco happy climax, this song is immediately likeable and memorable. It is sure to be a fan favorite, though unlikely to be a radio hit. That is the true sign of a great NIN song though. Great pop songs, but very "true" and not worried at all about being commercial.

You Know What You Are
After something mellow, you can always trust Trent to kick your ass a la Piggy - Heresy from The Downward Spiral. Great energy and aggression, but sonically not overdone (something Trent's been guilty at times in the past.) People have been making a lot of David Grohl's drum work on this record. It is great on this song (and many others.) There is definitely too much hype around his drum work though. There have been some great drumming on past NIN songs like March of the Pigs and Burn just for example. Anyways, the drums are great on this song. The chorus is a lot of fun. Some of the lyrics are a little weak (especially given the chorus,) but that has always been Trent's biggest weakness.

The Collector
Another great rocker. Great drums, again. Actually these are probably the most impressive drums by Grohl with a vicious but syncopated beat. This song would have fit on The Fragile, though it probably wouldn't have been as stripped down. This one of the first of a couple of songs where Trent actually seems cool. There seems to be a little bit of irony even.

The Hand That Feeds
Ah yes, this song. Another great beat, though this one sans Grohl. This may wind up being overplayed on the radio, but it will still go down as a great NIN song. Great, polished aggression. Cool lyrics, maybe even political?

Love Is Not Enough
This song takes a little more patience than the last one. It's a little brooding and meandering at first, but when the guitars kick on for the chorus it really takes off. The chorus again seems a little hipper than usual for Trent. This winds up being a very strong song. I actually think it would have been a great name for the record, too.

Everyday Is Exactly The Same
This is one of the best songs on the CD. Very cool lyrics. The mentally ill seems to be a theme of this record, more so than in the past. This is not depression and self loathing, but is paranoia and sedation. Great chorus that is very memorable. This song will get stuck in your head very easily.

With Teeth
This is one of two tracks on the CD that are a little weaker than the rest. It does have a cool build-up and a somewhat catchy chorus. It's "quiet" bridge is a little spooky and generally kind of interesting. Not a bad song, just not as strong as the others. Plus it's sandwhiched between two of the best songs on the CD ...

This song is just cool. Hip 80's-ish synths at the begininng that give way to a killer guitar/bass line. Cool lyrics with a cool delivery (really.) Great chorus. Yeah it's a little simplistic, but catchy and fun aggression. I love to blast this song in my car.

Getting Smaller
This song absolutely rocks. Very cool guitar and drums at the beginning and a very cool guitar line. The chorus just kicks and has great manic energy. Classic NIN lyrics and probably the coolest guitar work on the CD.

This song has my favorite beat and bass line on the record. It's also Trent's coolest of several cool songs. Probably the sexiest NIN song since Closer. I love the falsetto in the chorus. Stripped down and straightforward but fantastic.

The Line Begins To Blur
This is the "other" weaker song on the CD to me. Cool atmosphere and lyrics. Good chorus, too. This song has great "sounds" -- the kind of sounds that really make you wonder how Trent creates such things. It really took me awhile to like this song at all, but it definitely starts to grow on you.

Beside You In Time
Cool lyrics and cool sonic craftsmenship. Very cool buildup and throbbing, drone guitar. The only downside to this song is that sounds a little like it was meant to be an intro to the next song... Very hypnotic.

Right Where It Belongs
Another gem. The haunting melody and cool fade in midway both make this song so instantly memorable. I love the piano and the lyrics are also very good. One of the best NIN songs ever.

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