If I were to be honest (and I frequently am), I'd say, without much reservation, that Nine Inch Nails is one of my favourites bands. I've always found Trent Reznor's combinations of moral outrage, schizophrenic self-resentment, and borderline apathy compelling, provocative and more than a little identifiable. But lyrics and poetry aside, on a purely musical level Reznor has always been on the bleeding edge of musical technology while still managing to avoid digital excess. Using samples and everything from the sharpest and most memorable hooks to the faintest and still entirely resonant aural echoes, he has been able to dredge sounds out of his soul that are alarming, other-worldly, and yet entirely human. Lately, Trent Reznor has been giving fans quite a lot to be excited about. Year Zero reaffirmed Reznor's artistic integrity after the slight misstep that was With Teeth; the follow-up Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D gave us exactly the kind of delirious self-revision that NIN has become famous for; and Ghosts I-IV, Reznor's first release after his much-publicized break with Universal Music Group (the parent company of Interscope Records), was a haunting, beautifully crafted ambient instrumental album that came out of no where and demanded instant attention. Now, Reznor gives us The Slip, a new full-length album available as a free download at nin.com. I just downloaded it and am listening to it for the first time as I write this. It's 100% Reznor: it's the full on noise-rock Reznor of Pretty Hate Machine and it's the ambient/instrumental Reznor of Ghosts I-IV. While on a first listen I'm not quite sure whether or not it ranks among his most important works, such as The Downward Spiral or The Fragile, I am sure that I love it and that it's worth a listen, especially if you have any interest in Nine Inch Nails. Hey, it's free; it's licensed under Creative Commons; if nothing else, it represents a new, more creatively free way of releasing an album and that in itself is pretty exciting. On the nin.com homepage, Reznor writes, "thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years - this one's on me." Thank you, Trent. It's much appreciated.
Download The Slip for free at http://theslip.nin.com/