Irritating because of Trent Reznor's endless, fetishistic revisiting of the same nihilist themes he has explored since NIN's first release in 1989. Singing 'inside your heart it is black and it is hollow and it is cold' is forgivable pretension in a 24 year old, but in a man who turns 40 this month it seems both pitiful and laughable. And cynical because of how this faked alienation is packaged and marketed to the loyal goth masses year after year. Indeed, Nine Inch Nails would be as irrelevant as Slipknot or Korn were it not for the music.
Over the last sixteen years no-one has been as consistently musically inventive as Reznor. Though many have tried to ape his style notably one-time protégé Marilyn Manson none has managed to capture that mix of boiling black electronica and heavily processed guitar fury to such devastating effect.
If previous effort The Fragile saw Reznor's songwriting slipping into formula, With Teeth is the sound of a man intent on proving himself again. Despite its aggressive title, this is the most subdued and seductive Nine Inch Nails album yet, an effect achieved by stripping down the raging guitars and employing synths to build up dark, brooding and often beautiful sonic landscapes. So while the spittle-flecked rage of "You Know What You Are?" could have come from The Downward Spiral, it is a rare revisiting of old ground.
Take opener "All The Love In The World", with Reznor's usual sullen moans replaced with a cracked, hushed falsetto as trip hop beats stutter and a haunting piano riff loops. Or the quite astonishing "Right Where It Belongs" which starts as an aching, echoing mantra whispered over subdued buzzing synths before the mix abruptly shifts and the vocals come into heartbreaking, gorgeous focus.
Elsewhere bassist Jeordie White injects a new throbbing momentum into the rampant, exhilarating hit "The Hand That Feeds" and the murky Depeche Mode-like shimmer of "Every Day Is Exactly The Same". Startlingly, these are songs you could dance to.
Reznor is saying nothing new on this record but that doesn't stop With Teeth from being a dazzling masterpiece. --Jaime Gill
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Secondly, to ht people comparing this to NIN's previous work (The Downaward Spiral in particular), please stop because it is good enough to stand alone. Also, to those that say that this is a more commercially-friendly record, I don't agree. Yes, it sounds more crisp, more polished, more 'sane' even than Trent's previous work but that is largely to due to him 'cleaning up' his act. New single 'Only' IS catchy and you CAN dance to it but so what? I found that I could dance to 'Closer' but did that make it MTV-orientated? If you listen to the lyrics, they really speak for themselves: "There is no f******* you, there is only me."
Like the previous reviwer, it took me a few listens to fully appreciate the depth of this album but once I got it, I fell in love. Standout tracks for me would be the brooding opener All The Love In The World, the superb Everyday is Exactly The Same, With Teeth, Only and Right Where It Belongs.
If you have only a mild interest in NIN or Trent Reznor please buy this album because I do not believe you will be disappointed!
When i first listened to it i was expecting a slight progression from the fragile (my favorite of the nin back cateloge) but i was supsrised to hear a much more melodic and punchy track listing, that to be honest, i wasnt that impressed with. But after listening though the entire album several times, i got more into the mindset of the music. Ive had to do this with every nin release so far, but have always been happy with the resulting pleasure of listening.
With teeth contains great music throughout, there are the highs and lows that every album contains but the lows are higher than most 'good' tracks. In my opinion 'the hand that feeds' is one of the weakest tracks. It doesnt quite fit in to the album as a whole, but saying this it is a great stand alone track and is much lauded, and rightly so, as a great song.
There is the usual mix of slower more relaxed songs as well as fast paced 'heavier' ones that i have come to expect from Nine inch nails, each section being placed perfectly within the album to create a undulating ride.
The starting few tracks build up to bring in the hand that feeds, with all the love in the world being a very notable build up track. After the hand that feeds, the ride drops to a slighty slower pace before reaching towards the fantastic tracks of Only and Getting Smaller, that can rightfully take there place as some of the greats NIN have produced.
But there is one track that seems to hide slighty, and this is a shame, it took me several listenings of the album to pick up on how great 'every day' is. The intelligent lyrics perfectly compliment the pace and power of the track while even more emphasising the idea behind the song. The repetitive nature of the chorus creates a master piece of a song.
In all With Teeth took me a while before i really got into it, but now its takes a great effort to replace it in my CD player with something that can entertain me as much. It is widely seen as a more mainstream album, and thats fair enough, it will appeal to a wider audience but will also more than just sate the appetite of NIN fans. It is on a par with the downward spiral and pretty hate machine, but is still just out done by the fragile and Broken in the creativity and overall feel of the album/work as a whole. Well worth buying and cherishing.
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