Nine Inch Nails
The Slip



by DerMond USER (9 Reviews)
May 20th, 2008 | 31 replies | 17,514 views

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: the first less than great NIN album, sadly.

1 of 6 thought this review was well written

Let’s cut to the point: the computer is, in this day and age, the fourth necessary instrument of the modern band after the holy trinity of guitar, drums, and bass. Digitization has permeated every aspect of music from production (or do you really think that lovely warm garage rock sound Jack white loves is made purely by amplification, surely, dear reader, you’re not that naïve) to distribution. For twenty years now Nine Inch Nails has been mastering that production half, and now, Trent Reznor (NIN’s only real member) has mastered the second.
The Slip is NIN’s seventh full length, and yes it is only available from their official webpage 100% free, which makes reviewing the darn thing a bit of a conundrum. For one, criticizing free music is like criticizing Halloween candy: if you don’t like it don’t eat it, it’s not like you gave anything up to get it. For two, it’s nearly impossible to think about The Slip without thinking about that other free album, Radiohead’s In Rainbows.
Lets’ get that comparison done with: Both albums essentially make the same sounds all the respective band’s other albums made. Unfortunately that breaks their lovely trend of never making the same album twice. Both albums are also a bit short, another moot criticism for something free. In general if you like twisted electronica you’ll prefer The Slip, if you prefer elevator music you’ll prefer In Rainbows, but there’s no excuse not to download both.
NIN’s always been a band squarely focused on the album as a cohesive whole, something they really perfected on last year’s Year Zero (still, for my money, their best album), which makes The Slip a bit frustrating because it’s basically a collection of radio length singles in no particular order. Fortunately for listeners they’re all reminders of just how good Reznor is at cranking out good hooks and catchy choruses. The three instrumental tracks are kind of a letdown considering NIN released a compilation of more interesting instrumental work a few months ago.
Every single has a groovy rock vibe, at times echoing recent efforts by Muse. They range from fast thrashers like “Letting You” to the more contemplative “Echoplex” and album standout “Lights in the Sky”, an above average piano ballad from a group known for them. Still the best cut here may be lead single “Discipline” a rock/industrial/disco chimera that’s sure to have hipsters cranking the soulja boy dance with ignorant glee when NIN headlines Lollapalooza this summer. The cut is so dynamic and catchy that one almost forgets that it’s virtually a redone, if improved, version of “Only” the lead single from With Teeth four years ago. Everything else is strong, but not outstanding.
Therein lays the crux of the album: while it’s strong the whole way through it’s sorely wanting for high points and would-be classic songs. “Discipline” is great but its no “Closer (to God)”, and “Lights in the Sky” will never be “Hurt” try thought it might.
Still one gets the impression that this is not an album for critics. The Slip will not make a NIN fan out of anybody who does not already love them. This CD is an in joke, a gift, a thank you to Reznor’s fans for their patience with his recent experiments, even if some of said experiments (read: Year Zero) eclipse it. Who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?
If you already get the joke sit back and enjoy, even if you already know the punchline; it’s everyone else who Reznor’s given the slip, in a sense.

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user ratings (1195)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Deadwing42 (4)
    Trent Reznor's sonic collage of a career retrospective....

    Edmund Blackadder (3)
    "Am I still tough enough? Feels like I'm wearing down."...

    Jeremy Bentham (4)
    "The Slip" proves to be a random but pleasent suprise and a great addition to the NIN disc...

    Dylan S. (4)
    They say you get what you pay for...well this was free and it was excellent!...

  • Cubert99 (3.5)
    Trent releases yet another album. But where has Ghosts left the NIN sound?...

Comments:Add a Comment 
May 22nd 2008


No comments?!

Good review anyway.

Digging: Radiator Hospital - Torch Song

May 22nd 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

1) break up the paragraphs. 2) in rainbows is kind of irrelevent in regards to this album, and aside from that you really only have a single paragraph speaking vaguely about it 3) not to stir things, really, but year zero the best album? :rolleyes:
i do kind of see what you were getting at with the review though, but some of your references outside the album (nin material or otherwise) and this whole "joke" thing just loses me.

May 22nd 2008


Please do 1).

May 26th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album is really good, but your review is a little underdeveloped. And no mention of "Head Down", clearly one of the best songs on the album.

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

May 26th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

what happened to tribes' review lol

May 26th 2008


Album Rating: 2.0

He either:

A) asked for them to get deleted.
B) Was demolished in the crash.

May 26th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

yeah but i mean since it's tribes i thought he would've been on top of that resubmitting junk y' know

May 26th 2008


Album Rating: 2.0

Maybe he was killed in a car crash?

May 26th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Yeh that was my bad sorry

June 5th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

No.1 - The album is great.
No.2 - To put it blunt... terrible review. You were too vague about everything and the whole joke thing at the end. No. No. No.
No.3 - Do not compare In Rainbows with this or Ghosts I-IV. Everyone goes on about Radiohead being the first ones to be doing the "free album" thing. Radiohead did it because they thought they would make money. Trent did it because it wants music to be affordable. And also make money.

The whole point is i disagree with almost everything you said here. Bad review.

June 7th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Didn't like the way you compared them with radiohead.
Musicly sound barely alike. It's kinda lame that everyone brings them up every time Reznor releases an album.

I kinda agree that the album isn't as cohesive the others were.

I disagree about the instrumentals, I love them.
Also no mention of head down wich is possibly the strongest song on the album.

Not a great review

June 13th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

The only song I REALLY like off this is 1,000,000, there isn't necessarily a bad song on it though.

June 24th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

nah i disagree, this is a very refreshing release for NIN. the band is now revitalized and i feel this has been the strongest released for a little while.

June 25th 2008


Im sorry, but overall this review is pretty irrelevant and doesn't go into detail about the actual songs, feel and direction of this album at all. Plus the Radiohead thing was way out in left field.

July 14th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album is awesome and these reviews are not really that great for it.

July 14th 2008


Is that a photo of Joan Benet? That's a tad sick, yo.

I can't believe this Reznor bloke has got another record out so quickly. Is it just me, but was there a huge difference in quality between 'With Teeth' and 'Year Zero'? It was easy getting into the first. The melodies and instrumental accompaniment was very much like what NIN has done in the past. 'Year Zero' on the other hand, was very difficult to absorb. I felt like it was too 'techno' for my blood. I eventually gave up on the record and now never pull it out. Did I give up to early, yo? I mean, it wasn't that good, right? How's this one in comparison to 'With Teeth'?

July 14th 2008


Oh, dang, dawg. I'm listenin' to samples of this bad boy rights abouts now. And, it's good, yo! Real good. So far. This is like 'With Teeth'.....And, if that's the case, then what the heck happened with 'Year Zero'?

July 14th 2008


Album Rating: 2.0

One big long paragraph for a review.........................I think its obvious what I'm going to tell you to do hahaha. There was very little in the way of content throughout the review as well.

Album was awful! Same old boring album he's been doing for the last 5 years!

Digging: Cloak of Altering - Plague Beasts

July 14th 2008


Oh, c'mon man. This is actually pretty damn good. And, 'With Teeth' was a very solid return. Sounds like Classic NIN. It's the one in the middle that doesn't sound like much of anything. I can't even make out one track from the next on 'Year Zero'.

July 15th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Year Zero is a really dense album. Takes a few listen to get into it, and the story/lyrics/theme are a big part of it. With Teeth is like Diet NIN. Neither record is really on par with Trent's A-game stuff.

And there is no way this album is boring brosef.

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