year zero

year zero = love. I don’t know why I get scared about new NIN releases because Trent never fails us. Even having heard it at the pre-show listening party in London, I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not. I don’t like it, I love it. It really is an incredible album, nothing at all like With Teeth, or even like any old NIN stuff. There are elements of Downward, and elements of the Fragile, but still completely different. I can’t pick out a single weak song on the album – and even the best albums, like Achtung Baby which I think is one of the best recordings of all time, has weak songs. But with the exception of 3 seconds on the album, which I’ll get to later, it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s really an album that you have to listen to all at once to really appreciate. When I gave in and listened to Survivalism and My Violent Heart on myspace I didn’t really like them. But on the album, as part of the whole package, they’re great. And be sure to call the phone number on the back.

1. Hyperpower – instrumental, Josh on drums. Energizing, good intro.
2. The Beginning of the End – great song despite it sounding like My Sharona 🙂 Having heard it live helps to get into the song.
3. Survivalism – When I listened on myspace I thought it was ok, but overall wasn’t super impressed. Seeing it live made it totally awesome. “lost our faith along the way and found ourselves believing your lies” incredible lyric.
4. The Good Soldier – Alex and I had been scared that this song was about christianity and Trent finding god. It’s not. It’s about (the) war, and belief in the war cause. Includes a xylophone. ha!
5. Vessel – at this point, my favourite song on the album. I can’t really explain why, or really even describe the song. Loud and seemingly disorganized. Planned chaos. Fantastic.
6. Me, I’m Not – love. Kinda chill, still NIN.
7. Capital G – very catchy, definite single potential. Features Trent’s new found love of singing staccato.
8. My Violent Heart – wasn’t sure I liked the song when I first heard it on myspace, but in the context of the whole album it’s great. Also, gotta love Trent just speaking the words. *hot*
9. The Warning – apparently I have nothing to say about this song ha.
10. God Given – along with Vessel, favourite song on the album. Very, very dancable. You can picture it being played in clubs. It sort of sounds like a Danny Lohner remix, it has that kind of timbaland type groove to it. I swear the blurry picture with the lyrics in the booklet is Michael Jackson.
11. Meet Your Master – I can’t help but think of “master of puppets”, because there just aren’t many words that rhyme with master ha. Doesn’t sound like metallica in the slightest bit tho. Could have single potential too. I can imagine hearing it on the radio – you know, if i ever listened to the radio.
12. The Greater Good – reminiscent of the fragile.
13. The Great Destroyer – massive massive problem with the song. It goes along quite well and continues quite well except for the…horrifying…let’s call it “epic vocal flourish” of the last line of the song. God it makes me cringe. It is just so not nine inch nails, and it’s so not trent reznor. It’s…bad 80s metal. Leighanne used to turn the volume down at the beginning of Bowie’s “cat people” because she hated the way he sang “with gasoline” but I completely understand now. That last “the great destroyer” is just so awful. It is the only flaw on Year Zero. Or maybe I’m just missing something – like that it conveys a certain meaning to the song and album. But…no. just. no.
14. Another Version of the Truth – piano! it still exists! An instrumental very reminiscent of the fragile, and “a warm place”. very nice. A calm after the storm or nuclear winter. Whichever you prefer.
15. In This Twilight – a very noisy pretty song. Strangely optimistic. Makes you wonder what comes after year zero. Both literally as in the next album, and as the next part to unfold in the “world of year zero”.
16. Zero-sum – Background piano and spoken word very reminiscent of “the downward spiral”. Really really gorgeous song. The lyrics are just beautiful and really “make” the song. Gah. My reaction right now came as a complete surprise, after reading the lyrics along with the song. Very impressed with it suddenly.

One one hand you can hear the Saul Williams influence on the album – the spoken word, the “hip hop” groove – but on the other hand, the spoken words parts are very reminiscent of The Downward Spiral as well. It doesn’t say alot about who actually played instruments, other than Josh on drums, but the album seems to reflect Aaron’s manic sort of guitar playing.

Just…go buy it!

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