Quote Originally Posted by Pinkocracy View Post
Zero-Sum and Lights in the Sky are easily two of my favorite NIN songs, and I often feel weird about that since they're so antithetical of the larger catalog. I wanted to post that in this thread because I don't often see a lot of love for these songs and I wondered if they're reviled or just ...meh... to most.

Maybe it's because I lost my mother during that era, but man. Both of those songs pack a wallop, even just taken on their sonic merits. The piano hook from Zero-Sum is haunting.
Zero-Sum is also one of my favorite songs NIN has ever done! For me, it always brings up ideas about determinism and the individual becoming aware they aren't really in control. Even though it feels like they are and the uneasiness, as well as the freedom, that comes with that realization. Come to think of it lots of NIN songs bring these ideas to the front but this one does so perfectly using the narrative of year zero.

I've always thought Zero-Sum never got much hype because of the fact the vocals are buried so deep in the mix so maybe some people never really find a way to connect to the bare bones of the song. I'd love to hear a version that is akin to something off of Still so the words and theme could shine a little more, plus that piano riff would be excellent in that context.