- Alternative & Modern Rock
- Classic Rock
- Country & Southern Rock
- Early & Roots Rock
- Funk & Reggae
- Hard Rock & Classic Metal
- Industrial, Dance & Electronica
- Jazz & Fusion
- Latin Rock, Salsa & Flamenco
- Modern Metal & Thrash
- Progressive & Experimental
- Proto, Classic & Post Punk
- Psychedelic & Conceptual
- R & B, Gospel and Soul
- Rap & Hip Hop
As the music industry continues to shift away from label focus and towards a more artist centric viewpoint (at least in my view), we're seeing more and more music released online where the fans can get it directly from the band. Leading that charge are many of the more progressive bands including a certain hard rockin' industrial band that is the project of a certain Mr. Reznor.
With the elaborate multimedia project surrounding the Year Zero album, it was pretty obvious that Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails were committed to breaking new ground in what exactly an album can be and how the music can reach the masses. It came as no surprise then when they released a 36 track instrumental album online in various formats including a 9 song free download. Perhaps slightly surprising though, is that they've decided to follow it up with another online release, making it the third NIN release in quite a short while: Year Zero, Ghosts I-IV and now The Slip.
The album is more than just being made available online though, it's being released a full two months before the actual CD hits stores and is 100% completely free, a testament to Trent's commitment to his fan base if you ask me. By simply requesting a download confirmation with an email address you can download the album in either high quality MP3, higher quality lossless FLAC, or a better than CD quality super high quality WAVE for the ultimate audiophiles... and like I said, it's all free. In July the album is also slated to be released in CD and vinyl so you can have a physical copy as well if you prefer
"Enough hype about the release already, how's the actual music sound?" you might be saying to yourself right now... (or perhaps, "ok just give me the link already", but I'll get to that later). Seeing that I did download the album as soon as I heard, and have been listening to it pretty much continuously since then, I can give you a pretty good first impression.
Supposedly recorded on a laptop during the band's most recent tour, there is definitely a slightly rougher and less polished feeling to the album than some past NIN releases. It's not 100% noticeable and that certainly isn't to say that it doesn't have all the industrial grind that Reznor has become known for... these songs just seem more organic and alive, not as strictly mechanical as some songs from their catalog. This feeling might change though, the more I listen to it as I haven't had time yet to really sit down and compare it to any of their other albums. I'm especially excited to take a listen to this album as a continuation to Year Zero, an album I really dig, to see how they've progressed and developed since their last release.
It is a pretty short album at only 10 songs, but if the band is going to turn around and release them in small bursts like this I think I can get over that. It has a very conceptual album feel from start to finish for me, going beyond just the fact that some songs blend seamlessly into others. The few instrumental moments definitely seem to point to this being more of a complete avant garde composition than just simple tracks. It all really works well as a complete work for some reason too and although there are some occasional abrupt changes, even they seem to contribute to the whole in some way.
This definitely sounds like another album to take a listen to with some good headphones... in the dark.
As I said, I'll need some more time to really place it within my personal ranking of NIN albums, but I'm definitely digging it on the first few listens, finding even the instrumentals quite compelling, artistic and creative, all while maintaining that slight edge of darkness, and the hypnotic feel that is ever present in NIN music.
If you're at all a Nine Inch Nails fan, than this definitely sounds like something to check out... and why not? It is free after all, but it's a pretty sweet listen as well.
Here's the link you've been waiting for, not that you couldn't have found it just as easily for yourself, just click enter an email and wait http://dl.nin.com/theslip/signup
You can also preview the album if an email sign up is too much of a commitment for you, here: http://www.ilike.com/artist/Nine+Inch+Nails