Odds are, you've never heard of Still. It was released as a bonus on the deluxe version of And All That Could Have Been, and outshines its live counterpart. A nine track album, it's made up of "unplugged" versions of nine inch nails songs, consisting of piano, acoustic guitar, and often light synths and drums. It features four redone old songs( Something I can Never Have, The Fragile, The Becoming, The Day the World Went Away) four instrumental songs ( Adrift and at Peace, Gone, Still (one song), The Persistence of Loss, Leaving Hope) and one all new track ( And All That Could Have Been). This is an amazing piece of work that should be heard by all, as it combines beautiful melodies and strong vocals, in a way that is accessible to all.
Still starts off with a haunting rendition Something I Can Never Have, which only surpasses the PHM version because of Trent Reznorís raw intensity. It then eases off into adrift and at peace, a nice song, with a morning after the storm feeling. If there is a weak point to this album, this would be it, as it is not a very climatic song, but itís fitting with the album as a whole, and is still very enjoyable. The next track is one of the best songs, ever. The Fragile is taken to a new level with this release, with sharp piano; it flows into an explosion of an ending, thanks to drumming by Jerome Dillon. The next song, The Becoming, starts off with a familiar piano line, and then breaks into acoustic guitar and an electronic drum line, which is later accompanied by live drumming. This song mimics the downward spiral version, and feels like an acoustic version of the original. Gone, Still is the second of four instrumental tracks on the album, and resembles adrift and at peace, but adds a light acoustic guitar line and synthesizers. The Day the World Went Away exceeds any previous version in every way. The intro/beginning is done better; the verse is done better, and the chorus/climax is done better. The ending joins together a bass, guitar, a broken snare, and atmospheric piano that creates a flawless ending which is accompanied by light humming from Trent. It then fades into the sound of rain, which introduces the next song, And All That Could Have Been. It starts with angelic-like guitar, and then bursts into an extraordinary chorus, with synthesizers, live drums, guitars, and bass. It ends off with an extended chorus, with a nice piano ending. The next two songs feature no singing, but conclude the album very well. The persistence of loss resembles adrift and at peace and gone, still. Leaving hope on the other hand, stands out from the rest of the instrumental songs, and even rivals some of Trentís best. It blends beautiful piano with a soft, astonishing synthesizer that ends off the album with an outstanding climax that melts into two minutes of white-ish noise, of slow downed screams and synths.
Still is a must have for anyone who enjoys music. It is a classic that can be approached by all, even people who do not like nine inch nails or industrial music. It both stands out from nine inch nails collection and represents it, as a softer release portrays both the musical ability of Trent Reznor and his intensity.
The deluxe edition of And All That Could Have Been was a limited release and thus can no longer be obtained. Still can be purchased separately from www.nin.com
I was going to write a review of this in the next couple of days but i spose i wont now. This cd is a bit iffy for me.... some of the songs are gorgeous but some i skip every time.
I think this would have been much better if Trent used all new material because i really dont think that songs like the becoming lend themselves well to the deconstruction process. On the upside however And All That Could Have Been is amazing and as far as im concerend it much better than other slowburning heartfelt NIN songs (such as Hurt, SICNH and right where it belongs)
Overall i would rate it 3.5/5
okay, i love NIN, i am going to go see them this saturday at the Aladian in Las Vegas. i loved your review it explians the album very well. my favortite songs of theres is march of the pigs and star fuckers but all of the songs are freaking awsome. i have already been to an NIN concert and it was freaking awsome. i cant wait to see this one
Well written review. Although I don't give a 5, because it includes only one new song except the instrumentals. Nevertheless, "And all that could have been", "Leaving hope", and this really heartrending version of "Something I can never have" should be known by any person interested in electronic music.
In general, all the "unplugged" versions sound different from all other existing Nine Inch Nails material.