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Nine Inch Nails [reviews]
Year Zero |Interscope, 2007, {halo 24}|

1. Hyperpower!, 2. The Beginning of the End, 3. Survivalism, 4. The Good Soldier, 5. Vessel, 6. Me, I'm Not, 7. Capital G, 8. My Violent Heart, 9. The Warning, 10. God Given, 11. Meet Your Master, 12. The Greater Good, 13. The Great Destroyer, 14. Another Version of the Truth, 15. In This Twilight, 16. Zero-Sum

NIN has been standing for a piece of rock music history for over 18 years but I guess Mr Reznor might end up like Mr Big Mouth - Mick Jagger, famous, loved, admired, making music for fans, making big money on his fame and keeping high rated songs on most of hit charts but.... these days both of them make music which lacks of original solutions or greater emotions compared to previous efforts like, regarding NIN, The Downward Spiral, Broken or the debut CD Pretty Hate Machine.
Personally I wasn't waiting for Year Zero album that much. They sound like a totally new band to me and make some new music since the remixes for The Perfect Drug album were released. I didn't follow all that well produced promotional campaign. Even the album title sounded kind of suspicious to me and actually I thought it would be changed just right before the album release to make an additional background for NIN.

I do regret an absence of a genius composer Charlie Clouser. C'mon, the team including Reznor, Clouser and Lohner stood undeniably for the greatest success of Nine Inch Nails. Ever. Clouser makes the TV and cinema soundtracks these days, Lohner runs a very promising band Black Light Burns but Reznor? Seems Trent let touch his hermetic music by not that much creative (or dominated by Trent's ideas) musicians and the first results were audible when The Perfect Drug remix EP album was released equal 10 years ago.

There wasn't any long break between With Teeth (2005) and Year Zero latest albums. I do agree Year Zero is much better than With Teeth, sounds less messy but still sexless, shapeless and kind of soft to me. Sadly, Nine Inch Nails name has lost its well known meaning. Songs are schematic, washed out, normalized on this newest album. Music on Year Zero didn't 't convince me even after a few days of listening to the tracks. Seriously, I got bored after a day.

However, there was a moment I felt animated and it was caused by a really great guitar solo in the end of The Great Soldier song. Another interesting part of the album is Capital-G song, the first one in NIN history, when Trent decided to rap although it came out not that much professional but definitely deserves an award for a courage. It's not the first attempt getting into rap music because in 1998 Reznor made an awesome, dark and emotional remix for Puff Daddy featured on his Victory CD single.

The 'heaviest' song on Year Zero is called Meet Your Maker but it's like if you found a rock track amongst almost pop songs (except an instrumental Another Version of the Truth) and that's why I put the adjective in quotation marks.

This album lack songs to admire and remember throughout many years. It's not a bad album but listening to it didn't give me any kind of emotions except those caused by the guitar solo mentioned above. Sometimes rough demos and debut albums sound much better than albums released after 18 years of a band's existence on a music scene, don't they?

Tho there is a nice gag coming with Year Zero CD. I guess it's the first time a band used such a gadget but of course don't take my words for granted. The CD is covered with a heat sensitive paint so when you put a completely black CD into your CD player and let it spin it for over an hour, the black surface turns into white, uncovering a website address and other promotional informations bound with that a bit "criminal" and alarming marketing campaign surrounding Year Zero release.

I'm sure NIN will win new fans, and a part of the older fans will like this album as well, probably of the fact that NIN has been still active and has tried to make another step in rock music history. NIN fan rised on The Fragile album will swallow Year Zero with one spoon, but fans educated on Broken or The Downward Spiral may choke with only one spoon.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below)

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