9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A Step In A New Direction,
This review is from: With Teeth (Audio CD)
I listened to this album and as it started it didn't feel right, it wasn't as dark or angry as I'd expect. When I reached "You Know What You Are?" it just felt put on, like his anger wasn't real. Though please do not stop reading or dismiss this yet; when I reached "The Hand That Feeds" it all changed, it had that provocative and intense sound I have grown to love and expect from Reznor.
As the album continues it descends deeper, a little more tormented and slightly morbid but not the degree of previous albums. This does not however diminish its significance, with 5 years and the enormity of 'Fragile' it would be impossible to reach expectations. The resulting album is hardly comparable to the said previous album as it has taken a new direction and rather than dwell on all that could have been (pun intended) I suggest we relish in the greatness of this album in this new direction. I hate to see a good album lose merit for its musical and lyrical value because it doesn't meet previous criteria.
On second listen I realised why it is I found the start of the album so off putting. It is indeed difficult to not have ANY expectations and I assure you it wasn't a lack of lyrical power. It was pure expectation, the reason I had trouble is because this is still NIN but in a different wrapping. The start of the album is almost optimistic, more persevering than previous releases. However there is still some darker material for fans unable to adjust to the new sound, though still less industrial and more rock sounding. I will say that if you can't adjust I feel sorry as there is a lot of good material there and Reznor does not lose any of his untold ability for lyrics.
Clear stand out tracks are the fierce guitar based "The Hand That Feeds" and "Getting Smaller" as well as the more subtle thought provoking "Right Where It Belongs". Other faves are "Love Is Not Enough" and "Only". If you haven't pre-ordered this album then there's this button on the top-right of your screen. For all NIN fans this is a MUST album, you'll be sorry without it. If you want to discover what this NIN is all about I don't really recommend you start here.