Nine Inch Nails
Hesitation Marks


3.6
great

Review

by Eli Kleman EMERITUS
September 8th, 2013 | 138 replies | 65,006 views


Release Date: 09/03/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Looks like the "bad bitch" part of Trent Reznor must have been out to lunch for the recording of his album Hesitation Marks."

Thank God Trent Reznor dropped the pissed off schtick that hasn’t been genuine since the 90s. While his mid 2000s work was admirable in its own right, the aggressive emotions that plagued each album became sillier and less believable as time went on. And yes one could argue that this is the appeal to Nine Inch Nails, as the band’s first two albums are still regarded as landmark achievements. All this, of course, is due to the dark and grimy subject matter that was palpable throughout each outing. However, as Trent Reznor has aged the dark and dispiriting aura that surrounds the man has gone from enticing to outright ridiculous. After all, with one hot wife, two successful projects, and an Oscar, it’s about time we saw a different side to Mr. Reznor.

Thankfully, Hesitation Marks sees Nine Inch Nails in rare form. While not expressly bright and hopeful, the overall mood of the record is a tad bit lighter than we’re accustomed to. While the grimy, tense feeling still permeates every facet of the album, songs like “Everyday” sound damn near poppy. Lyrically NIN is still passing by with amateur prose and goofy wordings but the lighter tone is noticed here as well. Yet the biggest surprise is not how different Trent presents himself, but rather, how very “Nine Inch Nails” the album feels. After half a decade of experimenting with all sorts of drone and ambience, one would expect the band to stay the course. However, Hesitation Marks is very much a firm adherence to NIN’s mid-career work, albeit a tad more refined. Albums such as With Teeth and Year Zero can be heard here, at times very heavily. The punchy bass and catchy rhythms really drive the entire work, much like with the aforementioned records. It’s refreshing to hear it all work out so well, adding up to the most naturally enjoyable and endearing album of the band’s career. It’s a neat mish-mash of influences, as the addicting pace of “Copy of A” hearken back to Reznor’s older material, while the unsettling falsetto found on “In Two” points to something new and exciting. And therein lies the true success of Nine Inch Nails’ eighth outing, with the band finding the perfect sweet spot in their storied career.

In spite of it all, the record lacks the depth found in Nine Inch Nail’s previous records and the engrossing brilliance of their more experimental leanings. All that aside, Hesitation Marks stands as incredibly solid, perhaps more so than any record put out by the band in over a decade. Dropping the half-assed delivery and boosting all that has made the band a household name, Nine Inch Nails have returned from “hiatus” with an album deserving of their legacy.



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user ratings (623)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
September 8th 2013



10556 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6 | Sound Off

Idk if a staff had dibbed this I haven't check Olympus in a minute

Digging: Saintseneca - Dark Arc

Willie
Moderator
September 8th 2013



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

I still don't know how I feel about this album. I'm not really a NIN fan, more of a Pretty Hate Machine fan, but this album has me coming back at least.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

Xenophanes
Emeritus
September 8th 2013



10556 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6 | Sound Off

It's a lot of fun imo. It doesn't take itself too seriously which is something that I have always complained about NIN for. It's always interesting and weird and completely NIN without all the terrible baggage from the last decade


Willie
Moderator
September 8th 2013



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Totally agree.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2013



9523 Comments


Hahaha, fucking love that summary man. Nice to see you contributing around these parts again, I've missed your writing!

Digging: Koan Sound - Dynasty

NightmareCinema16
September 8th 2013



2016 Comments


Really, I haven't been able to really grip the whole NIN madness. Then again, I haven't heard much by them in the first place. Great job with the review, btw.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2013



16072 Comments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTj4mMp5dk8

listen to more by them then bro

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2013



9523 Comments


By the way, Eli, this is one of the best reviews I've seen from you. Nice work.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2013



7166 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

This one really recalls the latest album from The Knife at points. I can imagine Trent is their huge fan.

I can't really agree with the notion that this LP adheres to the band's previous style so much. They're clearly some new elements (to NIN) on display here. This has a much more electro-industrial feel to it.

Digging: Floor - Oblation

Faraudo
September 8th 2013



412 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Hey man, song's name is "Everything", not "Everyday". Other than that, great review.

Digging: Vetusta Morla - La Deriva

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
September 8th 2013



19559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is still a solid 4 for me. the oneohtrix point never remix of find my way is so good. deluxe edition is worth it just for that song imo

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing for Us Here

mikemiller745
September 8th 2013



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album, nice see Trent moving forward than looking back.

theacademy
September 8th 2013



27705 Comments


hey eli

slep
September 8th 2013



1604 Comments


jesus christ, that summary is incredible. the rest is good, but that's just perfect

Green Baron
September 8th 2013



11300 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

everything actually really ain't that bad

Digging: Chevelle - La Gargola

JBull
September 8th 2013



7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"Everyday"

lol

Acanthus
September 8th 2013



9514 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Meh.

Nice writeup however, and though I'd be lying if I said all this hasn't already been said in comments/other reviews it's nice to have an official Sput review.

Digging: Ayria - Hearts for Bullets

DJRDOG
September 8th 2013



2 Comments


The album seems to cover its bases really well. It's catchy and dreamy but aggressive and angry. I've listened it to it about 7 times through now. I was really hoping that I'd eventually start to like "everything" but my fingers can't help to reach for the skip button. I think this mostly comes from my deep seeded hate for punk music. So maybe it's a biased opinion and at some level it is a good song but I think the album would benefit from its absence. This album doesn't quite flow as well as downward spiral or the fragile ( at least the first disc) but god damn there are some good songs. Definitely worth a buy in my opinion. I think any true NIN can enjoy this album. 4/5 if I had to score it. And p.s this review says the slip is year zero and with teeth done right. That is probably one of the most ignorant statements I've ever heard. The slip felt rushed, poppy, and not well thought out. But that's a different review

Xenophanes
Emeritus
September 8th 2013



10556 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6 | Sound Off

"And p.s this review says the slip is year zero and with teeth done right. That is probably one of the most ignorant statements I've ever heard. "


Um, I didn't say this?

DJRDOG
September 8th 2013



2 Comments


Sorry brotha that lines from a different review. I do apologize



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