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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 August 2015
Bought for a friend who loves it
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on 8 September 2013
Fantastic if you are a fan - and I am. Trent continues to bring his message to us in his own unique way. This time with a beat that gets the listener moving, both physically and mentally -- and I mean the LISTENER. Driving the eschatological message home with the help of Atticus Ross and with a vengeance. As edgy as ever. His work manages to be some of, if not, the most creative and evocative sound around. 25 years down the road and Trent's magical touch gets better with age.
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on 29 November 2015
Love it love it love it
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on 6 September 2013
I am a love at first sight NIN fan. I have been a die hard Trent Reznor admiror since 1994 and yes it took me a few "repeat" to understand where Trent wanted to take me this time.
Trent has matured over the years, went from teenage angst to family man, battled demons, found love, disappeared to better come back.
This is what the album is all about,it depicts a journey of doubt, hesitation, fears to finally become strong and make the right choices.
The album is the one of a 48 year old who learnt a lot about life, influenced music beyond recognition and is let's face effing GREAT.
Hesitation marks is the echo of the "downward spiral" as if today's Trent wanted to give 1993 Trent some sound advice.
NIN is dead long live NIN
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on 7 August 2014
Awesome. That is all.
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on 2 September 2013
Good album, reminiscent of The Fragile but a few little surprises here and there. Not as aggressive as earlier albums. Very listenable, bit of a grower perhaps but not one to get the blood pumping.
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"Now I am no longer a child", the quote went, "I put away childish things." I remember with striking clarity an argument with an ex when we were 22, berating me for still having posters with musicians on my walls. Last month I turned 40. I still have posters of musicians on my walls, except now they are in frames. So many people look at the old records, and breathe a sense of relief that they are no longer that person. The issue there is denial : you are still that person, in the same way that once you are an alcoholic, you will always be an ex-alcoholic. You cannot pretend the past never existed.

Hesitation Marks, taking its title from the scars of failed suicide attempts, is perhaps the apt title : for even Reznor's self-imposed death sentence on Nine Inch Nails was merely a four year stay of execution, and the scars evidence, as such, of a desire to continue in some form. The anger and fury is less self-directed than before, more externally focused, but reflects a core part of many personalities : a sense of injustice at something not delivered, either personally or socially, a sense of energy directed into something. Sometimes we have to recognise that the answer is not a blind howl, but a focused sound. As a single entity, Reznor is much like his not-so-secret-hero Prince, - and an ethos also heard on the first Foo Fighters album where most of the instrumentation is played by one person - a bizarre, inaudible sense of an utter, telepathic lock with every other performer. Here, Reznor is utterly in cohesion with himself. It's a solid, hour long album, in the oldest sense of the world : a collection of songs that sit next to each other complimenting each other : there's no sense of any 'lesser' tracks, and few, it any, absolute standout numbers outside of the the first two songs released, in the hook-laden "Come Back Haunted" and the self-prophesising sense of been-here-before that permeates "Copy Of A"'s every moment.

Four years after the final Nine Inch Nails live shows, Trent Reznor has resurrected the band which is really a solo project : the risk is the band that cried wolf, and subsequently split, is back, and this time, in less than the normal amount of time it takes the band to produce a regular record - having held long five year interregnums in 1995-99 and 00-05, another four year gap between records is, well, business as normal - how many Kiss farewell tours have there been? How many times have The Cure toured for 'the last time'? Splitting up a band is career move, a way of gaining some necessary down time, a chance to fix broken relationships through distance, and then to return - hopefully invigorated - but sometimes exhausted, or lesser. In all ways, Nine Inch Nails 2009 "Wave Goodbye" tour felt like an end, and here, with a new record the 'band' return with the end of the end, the beginning of a new beginning.

"Hesitation Marks" is another Nine Inch Nails album : not (thankfully), a sprawlingly huge epic disaster of "The Fragile", but a concise hour. There's no sense of any progression, insomuch as it still sounds very obviously like Nine Inch Nails. "Come Back Haunted", the first release, is a coiled snake that, like the best of their material, suddenly and with no great surprise, explodes in an orgy of sound. But, like all of Reznor's work, builds on simple repetition, the echoed verse vocal, the looping riff that comes back with a slight twist at the end, the self-aware, negative lyric, and even ends with a direct quote on guitar from his biggest hit, "Closer". The album - 14 songs in total - moves to a conclusion with "Black Noise", sounding for all its efforts, like another great record that Reznor made 15 years ago that he's only just now decided to release.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 September 2013
A lot has happened since the last time Trent Reznor unfurled the Nine Inch Nails name in anger with the free to download The Slip. He has rejoined a label, been awarded an Oscar for soundtrack work, launched a new band (How To Destroy Angels), got married and had a kid and moved in and out of Twitter so many times its impossible to count. With all of this it was assumed NIN was dead and buried. So when the rather excellent lead single Come Back Haunted came out hopes were raised and this album largely lives up those hopes. Its not got the nastiness of some NIN albums. Its not as angry. And it certainly isn't Heavy Metal. However, it is a very coherent set of songs which has electronics and industrial music influences.

The feel here is minimalist with no out and out bangers. The nearest we get to that on this offering is Everything which is a thrashy poppy number, its also one of the tracks I find hardest to like. Come Back Haunted and Copy of a are exceptionally great tracks which kick the album off in fine style. They stand up to anything that NIN has produced. Various Methods of Escape has a sinister creeping quality seen previously on tracks such as closer. It lacks the lyrical punch of that song but really works well. All Time Low is a fantastic downbeat number which you would only get from NIN. And there are others. Some take time to really seep in and other are instant hits. You will be in a club on metal night and could hear a lot of whats here without it having an out and out thrash number.

This is a real welcome return of Nine Inch Nails. It won't stand up their very best albums. It will however be one of the best albums in this genre this year. It has some great tracks and it isn't as sinister as what has come before, but what do you expect from a man who is now in a far happier place. Well worth checking out
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on 6 September 2013
Ignore the bad reviews.

When any successful artist, musician, actor, director ect. has been in the game as long as Mr Reznor as their fan base increases so too does their critique. With a career stretching a quarter of a decade did he ever attend or imagine he would be producing music for an audience of dotting fans for so long. And if so what kind of artist did he hope to be; one who retains a consistent with credibility within their respective genre or one that explores. With the latter you run the risk of alienating fans of your previous work, or it may be that they understand where you are coming from and evolve with you as you experiment.
This is perhaps a very personal preference is for my favourite band to evolve as what I valued in them in the first place, is creativity, and individualism. By retreading the past I don't believe that is staying true to the ideals of what could be pigeon holed 'alternative' as a genre of music. And that individualism and creativeness was what made the last truely progressive age of modern rock music, that was the 1990s.

So, with that in mind, back to the album. Hesitation marks features many elements from NiNs previous work, and notably some of the same sounds most recently heard on Reznors soundtrack work, and How To Destroy Angels. The album is dark, sexy with a predominately electronic sound (the guitar work here is minimal and understated). Lyrical content is less progressive but this adds up to a very strong album, and another reason why I hope Reznor continues to make music in future.

My only gripe is the very strangely positioned 'Everything'. A track that sounds very out of place on this album, which is also strangely upbeat and jolly (possibly a sign of Reznors emotional state in his private life). Personaly I think the track is weak, and should be relegated to a B-side or extra track (which is where I've re-positioned it in my itunes) and it upsets the pace of the album.

An extremely infectious record that stands proud amongst NiNs other bodies of work.
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on 23 October 2016
Dark but class !
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