Review Summary: "The Slip" proves to be a random but pleasent suprise and a great addition to the NIN discography
Nine Inch Nails were a band I never thought of listening to or gave any of my thought to until recently. I only knew of their radio singles and how Trent Reznor was a musical genous for having mixed heavy sounding music with electronica and techno-like beats. I got into the band and began listening to their music a lot more often after I gave them more of a chance, and began to enjoy it more than I ever thought I would. I, for one, was surprised when I intitially found out that “The Slip” was available for free download on the bands official website. More importantly, I was interested in hearing how it sounded, being a quick follow up to “Year Zero”. I was hoping it wouldn’t sound rushed or stale in comparison to the previous NIN records, and it really didn’t dissapoint. Its not a complicated record and its not hard to decipher and listen to like some of the work hes done before (like “The Downward Spiral” and “The Fragile”).
Trent Reznor is a very telented musician, and it shows on this album just like it does on the other NIN releases. He incorporates all of the aspects of the bands signature sound into this album, including keyboard textures and soundscapes, industrial guitar crunch and distortion, heavy drum beats, and great song hooks. His lyrics on this album arent the best, however, and fail in comparison to his previous work. Both the chorus of “1,000,000” and “Discipline” feature ‘mediocre’ lyrics when compared to the songs Reznor as done before but the catchiness the songs on “The Slip” produce more than make up for the sometimes poor lyrical content. The instruments are also played well. The guitar work on the album is great, particuarly in the first few tracks. At some points it sounds melodic and gives the music a lot of feel and at other times its massively distorted and crunched which brings to thought the days of “The Downward Spiral”. The bass is audible for the most part and sounds great on songs like “Discipline” and “Echoplex”. The drumming is also superb and is extremely catchy on this album as well. It forms a solid beat for Reznor to come in and deliver.
“999,999” opens the album with an ambient soundscape and whispered voices before the drum intro of “1,000,000” comes crashing in. The track is an album highlight and is very catchy and fun to listen to. It has all the trademarks of the NIN sound; including the frenzied industrial guitar grind, the great drumming, audible bass, and Trents unique vocal work. The chorus gets you singing along and although it might seem a bit cliché at times, it works for what it is. The tracks that follow are just as good if not better. “Letting You” features a crazed vibe all sround and has shouted vocals from Reznor and the catchy drum beat and melodic guitars of lead single “Discipline” really get you moving, especially when the chorus hook comes in. “Lights In The Sky” proves to be a beautiful and graceful piano ballad which presents on of the best vocal performances on the album and really showcases how Reznor can sing. The 2 intstrumentals on the album are also worth listening to (especially “Corona Radiata”). They both help the album flow well and shows how NIN mixes industrial and rock so well together sometimes. The album closer, “Demon Seed”, is an ok track but is weak compared to the other superb closing tracks on previous albums.
“The Slip” proves to be a worthy follow up to “Year Zero”. Even though it’s a free album, it presents 10 fun and great songs to listen to and is a random gem in the NIN discography. It proves that Trent has still got it in him even after all these years, and should not be overlooked. Give some of the standout tracks a listen if you havent already. This is a great, catchy Industrial album that just about anyone can enjoy. Each song has its own artwork too, which might be a nice addtion to some.