Review Summary: An overall great attempt made by Trent Reznor
So here we are in 2013 with Trent Reznor’s new album, Hesitation Marks
, and arguably said, it’s (for the most part) a brilliant return from the industrial rocker. One thing needs to be said, though, you won’t find boisterous, clattering percussion and excruciatingly loud synthesizers on this album, but you will most certainly find easy-on-the-ear melodies, reflective lyrics, and overall less abrasiveness.
This album, without question though, is a grower, and to be honest, it could take days and possibly an entire month for it to really stick and sink; that’s mostly due to the fact that Trent’s musical style here is entirely different than the rest of his albums. Aforementioned, this album is nothing like we've witnessed before (although some songs sound like they could almost be directed from The Fragile
or With Teeth
. The rhythms are much, much calmer and the melodies are considerably less abrasive compared to his past albums, yielding this to be a much more accessible album to a newcomer.
Lyrically, however, the album is somewhat flawed. Many lyrical passages just don’t seem inspired and are a little corny in a way, such as the first verse in ‘Came Back Haunted’
The throat is deep and the mouth is wide
Saw some things on the other side
Made me promise to never tell
But you know me, I can't help myself
As you can see (and I’m sure everyone has a different opinion), the lyrics here are rather dull compared to some of his other lyrical masterpieces. Thankfully, most of the musicianship on the album is fantastic.
The album kicks off with a creepy intro then leads into 'Copy o A', which is an although very minimalist track, pretty catchy and smooth. ’Came Back Haunted’, however, is not too good of a song and very bone dry. It has a fist pumping chorus and a pretty cool melody, but the song is lyrically flawed and the songs effects are pretty generic and lame. Fortunately, the album takes a sharp turn with the song called ‘Find my Way’, which is easily one of my most favorite songs off the record and could easily be mistaken for a song off of The Fragile
. Alongside an emotional piano riff and creepy ambiance, the song is unquestionably a definite highlight from the album; thankfully, the lyrics aren't cheesy in the slightest; this is quite possibly the most emotional song off the album.
‘Various Methods of Escape’ is another highlight. Featuring a clap-based beat and an incredibly uplifting chorus, this song is a true stand out; not to mention, the outro is amazing. ‘Satellite’ is probably the most danceable track off the album with the 4/4 beat and tinkering melodies heard in the background. Once again, the chorus is very easy to digest and quite breathable.
Overall, this album is a very nice treat by Trent Reznor, and although lyrically challenged in a way, this is still a remarkably fresh album by the legend. I’d recommend this to any new NIN fan, mostly due to it being very attainable on the ears and not so harsh. Let’s just hope Trent is here to stay