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Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks CD (album) cover


Nine Inch Nails


Crossover Prog

3.68 | 63 ratings

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4 stars After about 5 years without hearing from Trent Reznor's project Nine Inch Nails, "Hesitation Marks" was finally released in 2013. It seems, however, that now Reznor's band has fit into this new "skin" of sorts. No longer following the self- destructive style, NIN had mellowed out a bit, but not enough to alienate fans too much. The music is now a bit more melodic but also more daring and experimental, which is a good thing. While this seemed to be somewhat of a weakness in "The Slip" album, now there is a show of confidence. The music is still somewhat dark, but the subject matter ventures into more positive territory, making it feel like there is some hope out there. To me, previously this sounded a bit too fake with Reznor's vocals sounding too forced. But on this album, it seems much more convincing, plus there are some great tracks here that rival some of NIN"s earlier tracks, as in "In Two" and "Copy of A". These tracks can easily be considered classic NIN sound.

Reznor uses some excellent support on this album too with both Adrian Belew and Lindsey Buckingham contributing some guitar on various tracks along with some other guests, thus allowing the music to expand beyond the sound of NIN's earlier sound, while not exactly betraying the early sound. "While I'm Still Here" brings in an aura of dark mystery, but also adds in some brass treatments later in the track that help transport the music, and it's surprises like this that show that Reznor is willing to progress the band to new places. While not as experimental as the fantastic "Ghost" sessions, there is still plenty of opportunity to explore here, which is what happens.

The one complaint I have also applies to some of the more recent albums before this one, and that is, the middle of the album tends to sag a bit as some of the tracks tend to lose their steam as they start to sound a bit similar, however on this album, things start to get interesting again on the last third of the album, and if you have the deluxe version, you also get 4 stellar remixes which are almost just as great as the originals, even though the remixes can almost hold their own, as with many of the NIN remixes through history. As far as the proper album goes though, the first and last third of the album is great while some of the tracks in the middle third of the album tend to make the album droop a bit. Still, it's a worthwhile album when all is said and done and it's great to hear that the confidence seems to be back.

TCat | 4/5 |


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