Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
I'm surprised this album hasn't had an Editorial done for it so far. The esteemed digitalbath has inspired me with his excellent User review, and so Trent's mammoth-scoped epic "Year Zero" will be put under my harsh microscope. Actually, I've had it there since it's release and only recently have I let it begin to collect dust amongst the rest of the worn discs I own. There's a level of confidence in the writing Reznor hasn't exhibited, to me, on any of his previous projects. Forget the self-depreciating Spiral and the self-pitying Fragile, "Year Zero" is the album that should mark the pinnacle of NiN's success.
What really controls the album is the flow, underneath the endless streams of electronic chaos, harmony and various measures of both. Each song progresses into the next quietly, like the score to some great apocalypse on the horizon. All of the hullabaloo aside (surely you remember the massive internet hoax created by Reznor and some group of creative artists for hire, perpetuating a storyline of American cival strife, political strangleholds and religious fanatisicm. All topics that come as natural to the pre-determined grit and grime of NiN as you'd expect. There is little room to delve into track-by-track analysis, as each offers it's own special blend of everything you've ever enjoyed about the band. Let it be said that the closing somberness of "Zeroes and Ones" is my favorite track, however.
Along with your quality listening experience, you may also notice side effects of questioning the true direction of Reznor's pull; into the underground of independant thought, or into the world of political bombing that's launched careers of more rock bands of late than the Beatles did in their time. Of course, the career in question has previously lifted off, grounded and gone up again, so this line of thought may be questionable. Either way, there's a sour taste you're never fully rid of, perhaps due to the overwhelming nature of the message contained. Ignore it, and you've still found yourself face to face with Nine Inch Nail's most well-balanced and enjoyable album.
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on 2008-02-22 digitalbath Said:
If you've picked up this album for a political movement amidst a sea of Trent's usual master sampling, you've come to the right place. This album is full of everything the typical Nine Inch Nails listener has wanted to say to Bush but couldn't or felt too lazy to do so. Well don't worry guys and gals because Daddy Trent has it all taken care of. Though I will admit, this album was a bit hard to get into, musically, for the first listen or so, once it grew on me, I couldn't put it down.
The album isn't the typical depressing, drug-induced lyrical journey that you're used to though. The album's single "Survivalism" shows up early on the playlist and aside from some monotonous sampling, provides for a fun song with a catchy chorus that'll have you singing "I've got my propaganda" and just when you think you've figured out what the second phrase in the chorus says, you're onto the rest of the album. The middle of the album kind of blends together with similar samples until "Capital G." This song is one of the first electronic songs I've listened to with a swing feel to it and it definitely provides some catchy lyrics that'll have you feeling all rebellious and clever singing along to.
The real prize in listening to this album, as it should be in any album, is the final three songs (four if you've got the bonus remix of survivalism). The final three songs are sheerly epic in stature and throwback to Trent's old depressive style minus the depressing lyrics. A piano sings it's charming melody through a wall of static throughout "Another Version of the Truth" leading perfectly into "In This Twilight" which samples some subtle sounds heavy enough to shock you when Trent sings in a somewhat calm manner amongst the turbulence of one of the best sampled tracks I've heard in a long time aside from Amon Tobin. Zero Sum provides the same aesthetic value with a catchier chorus sung by a bunch of Trent's sounding experienced, confident, and.. bored? Don't worry, it was intended.
Get your hands on this album and listen to it a couple times before you lay down your ultimate verdict. It is absolutely worth it to let this album grow on you if that is what it takes.
on 2007-08-07 candykaos Said:
A conceptual album if there ever was one. This album will grab a hold of you and it won't let go. Be sure to call the phone number on the back of the CD case, you'll be in for an interesting surprise.