Page 486 of 489 FirstFirst ... 386 436 476 484 485 486 487 488 ... LastLast
Results 14,551 to 14,580 of 14668

Thread: Random NIN Thoughts

  1. #14551
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,924
    Mentioned
    131 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HWB View Post
    It's been like 4 years and Not The Actual Events stll remains one of my favorite releases from NIN ever, really up there. I love rest of the Trlogy but I absolutely adore ths EP, it's flawless to me. It's incredibly heavy, depressive and dark, has a great impact. I was so impressed with it when it came out and I am still to this day. Anyone who said that Trent someohow "lost" his fire got slapped by this monster. I cannot put it into words how much adore everything about this record. The insane scream going into a mad laugh in She's Gone Away still gives me the chills.
    Totally agree. NTAE is up there and on par with "The Fragile". As bold of a statement that is. I always liked that EP, and it sounds just as good now as it did 3.5 years ago. That EP has my favourite song from the whole trilogy... "The idea of You". I always thought this song would be AMAZING in a live setting, and I was really shocked to see he never played it live. The song is just begging to be played live in front of a crowd.

    I feel like NTAE has the best songs of the bunch. There is no "lull" moments. It has 5 banging tracks that you don't need to skip a single one. Sorry to say... but Bad Witch is the weakest of the bunch. Appreciate Trent for stepping outside his comfort zone to try something new, but that record fell short for me. It wasn't so much the experimental sound on say, "God break down the door", it's the 2 instrumental pieces in the middle that take me out of the record. Maybe 1 instrument piece, but 2 on a 6 track record? That's 1/3 of the record right there. Not for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    "The Background World" might squeak past it for my favorite track of the Trilogy.
    Background World is TIGHT. Best song on Add Violence, for sure. Very, very close second to being best song of the trilogy for me too. Seems like we share similar views on NIN songs more than we share views on Manson songs, lol.

  2. #14552
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    683
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ManBurning View Post
    Totally agree. NTAE is up there and on par with "The Fragile". As bold of a statement that is. I always liked that EP, and it sounds just as good now as it did 3.5 years ago. That EP has my favourite song from the whole trilogy... "The idea of You". I always thought this song would be AMAZING in a live setting, and I was really shocked to see he never played it live. The song is just begging to be played live in front of a crowd.

    I feel like NTAE has the best songs of the bunch. There is no "lull" moments. It has 5 banging tracks that you don't need to skip a single one. Sorry to say... but Bad Witch is the weakest of the bunch. Appreciate Trent for stepping outside his comfort zone to try something new, but that record fell short for me. It wasn't so much the experimental sound on say, "God break down the door", it's the 2 instrumental pieces in the middle that take me out of the record. Maybe 1 instrument piece, but 2 on a 6 track record? That's 1/3 of the record right there. Not for me.
    I think Bad Witch benefits the most from being played along with NTAE/AV, people say it stands really well on its own, but I think it actually benefits the most from being played with NTAE and AV, while I feel like NTAE and AV can be digested on ther own without any issues.

    Not to take anything from BW, I think it's absolutely superb. but the instrumental tracks feel far better after NTAE/AV, it fits the pacing.

  3. #14553
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,924
    Mentioned
    131 Post(s)
    Thinking/talking/reminiscing about the trilogy has gotten me mad jonesin' for some new NIN material.
    None of this Ghosts 5, 6 ,7, 8, 9 crap either (thems fighting words around here).

    Give me some good old fashioned songs with Trent's vocals in them!

    Screaming about shit mirrors! Doesn't get any better than that.

  4. #14554
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,418
    Mentioned
    51 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ManBurning View Post
    Totally agree. NTAE is up there and on par with "The Fragile".
    I certainly wouldn't go that far, but I do love that he did it. I have always been impressed by Trent's ability to produce something that's relevant to me regardless of how sure I am that I've "outgrown" Nine Inch Nails. Obviously, it's not about me, specifically; it's about his ability to continue producing lyrics that lack a lot of concrete detail yet still seem applicable and conversant with changing concerns. I wrote a lot here about my interpretation of this EP as his look at a possible path for him if he hadn't gotten clean, or if he let the addict back out to smash his life. I'm still impressed he did it. And, at the time of its release, I was settling into the third year of a good marriage, fresh out of owning a bar and into a desk job, trying to build an adult life. Once again, his project spoke directly to me. Love it, love the balls of it, and it holds up.

    I wouldn't put it within spitting distance of The Fragile, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by ManBurning View Post
    I feel like NTAE has the best songs of the bunch. There is no "lull" moments. It has 5 banging tracks that you don't need to skip a single one. Sorry to say... but Bad Witch is the weakest of the bunch. Appreciate Trent for stepping outside his comfort zone to try something new, but that record fell short for me. It wasn't so much the experimental sound on say, "God break down the door", it's the 2 instrumental pieces in the middle that take me out of the record. Maybe 1 instrument piece, but 2 on a 6 track record? That's 1/3 of the record right there. Not for me.
    I think by number Add Violence is my favorite. "Background World" is followed closely by "This Isn't the Place" for me. "Less Than" is "Hand That Feeds" if "Hand That Feeds" wasn't my least favorite thing Trent ever put to tape; and "The Lovers" really grew on me after that Song Exploder. "Not Anymore" is good, but has yet to really grab my guts and take hold. There's time. It was like fifteen years before I went as nuts over "Reptile" as everyone else always was.

    I agree about the overabundance of instrumental work on Bad Witch. The sparseness of "Over & Out" adds to the effect of the LP being...a little spartan and anticlimactic. Nothing's wrong with any of it; I like "I'm Not From This World" more than "Play the Goddamn Part," and I might like both of them better than "Over & Out." But after the hard and fast punches of Not the Actual Events and Add Violence, I think one could understand feeling like something vital was missing from Vol. 3. Which is weird, because it starts aggressively. I like "Shit Mirror" and "Ahead of Ourselves" better than anything off of Events except "She's Gone Away."

    My least favorite thing on the Trilogy is "Burning Bright." By a mile. But, on the whole, I'm not the biggest fan of the more spoken word stuff—ironic, since it might be him at his lyrical best. "Dear World," "The Idea of You," "Burning Bright," and "The Lovers" all fall a little flatter for me than they seem to for most of the folks around here. "The Lovers" is my favorite of those, though the conceit of "Idea of You," as a problem drinker for...the better part of a decade...and change...is phenomenal. I can't tell you how many times I wanted someone to just go back to the idea of me. I just wish the song had a stronger vocal melody. I would have loved to hear that one screamed all the way through.

    My relative distaste for those tracks is probably just because I'm beholden to the singing, screaming Trent whose voice and lyrics went a long way towards shaping who I became as an adult. Might sound silly to say, or maybe it doesn't, given the company around here. But hearing Trent whisper/speak through a track, especially when he does it with lyrics that have better poetic sense than ones he's sung, just makes me feel like there's a "potential" track that's being withheld from me—some superior, "finished," sung version of the song out there in the ether; the Platonic ideal of the track that seems like it could so easily have been plucked down. I am well aware that's asinine, such things do not exist, and spoken verses are a valid artistic choices that just don't happen to work for me. Still, sometimes it's tough to shake a brain out of its delusions, wants, and preferences.

  5. #14555
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    London
    Posts
    301
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    NTAE effectively reignited my fandom after a decade. I'd eagerly followed all the scoring work through that period, but hadn't really dug into any nin-proper release, except Ghosts, which I really liked. I'd give everything a cursory spin just to check in, but never felt like playing anything more than once. But NTAE really grabbed me, and prompted me to reexamine the material from the decade I'd ignored. I think I prefer Bad Witch overall - love the overall sound on that one, and I'm partial to instrumentals. But yes, NTAE is excellent.

  6. #14556
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,924
    Mentioned
    131 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post

    I wouldn't put it within spitting distance of The Fragile, though.
    Back to healthily disagreeing we are.
    That didn't last long.

    But, in all fairness (too lazy to quote the other parts), you and I's general opinion of the trilogy songs seems, pretty spot on.
    "Background World" and "This isn't the place" 2 of my favs.
    "Shit Mirror and "Ahead of ourselves" love, love, love these tracks.
    "Less than" being a hand that feeds type song, it's OK for what it is, I don't hate it. It serves it's purpose for the sake of the trilogy.
    Same feeling about "Not Anymore" it's good, just doesn't really grab me like the rest.

    I still stand by that NTAE, and to a lesser extent, some of Add Violence (This isn't the place, Background world) is his best stuff since The Fragile.

    I'm really excited to see where he goes next. I feel like he's reaching a second musical peak again. I feel good stuff coming from this man on the next release.
    Last edited by ManBurning; 08-15-2020 at 04:10 AM.

  7. #14557
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    683
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    I am a big fan of NTAE's vocals. Just, the vocals in The Trilogy in general isi something to talk about, I feel like this Trilogy saw an amazing use of his vocals, his deep, deep tones on She's Gone Away are incredibly and I doubt he would be able to do that in the 90s and sell it and it works so well, his vocal performance on that song adds so much to it, it's fucking incredible and I hope he will abuse the fuck out of his deep disturbing voice in future releases sometimes.

    As for aggressive songs here...he hasn't managed to sell these pissed off vocals so well since With_Teeth in my opinion, when I heard Branches/Bones chorus...man, I honestly thought I was dreaming to hear the vocals be so effective.

    I don't have a problem with spoken-word style personally, they have been kind of a part of NIN for a long time, I think it goes back to I Do Not Want This? I really like the whispery anxious use of them in The Idea Of You, they work perfectly and I cannot imagine them in any other way, it adds so much paranoia to the song which is building up to that explosive chorus.

    I also think that Burning Bright's lyrics are more screamed/yelled rather than just spoken, that song is probably one of the most pissed off songs in the entire discography for me, it just presents such insane apocalyptic imagery that I can't help but be sucked in, especially when the second verse starts which is just utterly fucking insane in every way imaginable.

    Also, man, those screamed vocals on Shit Mirror? Again, I cannot recall a Post-Teeth track where he sounds better, I dunno how he did it, but I was beyond impressed when his voice came in.

    I don't know what "problem" I've had with Year Zero's/Slip's aggressive studio vocals, they sounded like they were "restrained" when they didn't need to be and it's not like Trent wasn't capable of more of an unrestrained performance at that point, the rehearsals for The Slip present a far more of an intense performance from him, kind of strange! Anyone else feels that way? I dunno. The best comparison is "Head Down".




    Maybe it could be that those two releases didn't "distort" his vocals much? I know distortion can make your vocals sound far more aggressive, but I am not sure if it's just that, since Lettng You's vocals are distorted and I still for some reason feel that feeling as if he was holding himself back, it could just be me thinking that at the moment and I may regret making such claims about the vocals on The Slip, but yeah.
    Last edited by HWB; 08-15-2020 at 04:14 AM.

  8. #14558
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,924
    Mentioned
    131 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HWB View Post
    The Slip present a far more of an intense performance from him, kind of strange! Anyone else feels that way? I dunno. The best comparison is "Head Down".




    Maybe it could be that those two releases didn't "distort" his vocals much? I know distortion can make your vocals sound far more aggressive, but I am not sure if it's just that, since Lettng You's vocals are distorted and I still for some reason feel that feeling as if he was holding himself back, it could just be me thinking that at the moment and I may regret making such claims about the vocals on The Slip, but yeah.
    Studio NIN and Live/Rehearsal NIN have always just been different beasts. He does go harder/more aggressive with some of the Slip songs Live than he does on the recording, for sure.
    And Head Down. Magnificent. Absolutely fan-fan-fan-tastic track!

  9. #14559
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    683
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ManBurning View Post
    Studio NIN and Live/Rehearsal NIN have always just been different beasts. He does go harder/more aggressive with some of the Slip songs Live than he does on the recording, for sure.
    And Head Down. Magnificent. Absolutely fan-fan-fan-tastic track!
    Yeah, there always been a difference in intensity, but I feel like that difference became far bigger Post-Teeth, I feel like that With_Teeth's intensity matched their live counter-parts fairly well, but the difference became far bigger than ever after that and I am not sure why that is. I do not mean to complain or so as I do find myself something like these more "tamed" vocals, but it was an odd thing I noticed that happened during this time, which seems to have ended now though.

    And indeed, Head Down is absolutely incredible.

  10. #14560
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Panel K, Simulation
    Posts
    295
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Since a few people brought up NTAE, Add Violence and Bad Witch, I just want to chime in and say that these are three FLAWLESS Records. This output is as good if not better than anything he has ever done. I have been around since the days of The Downward Spiral which I have always considered a perfect album. But The Trilogy is exquisite. There is a depth of story to be explored, a look both outward and inward. Vocals have such a range that he has never quite explored before, the music really pushes the boundaries in new directions. It’s absolutely inspiring. If TDS was the only great thing he ever made, he should still be a legend, but to continue pushing yourself this hard, with this much passion as you age, is fantastically inspiring to me. It gives us all hope that our best days, our best work might still be ahead of us. As Trent has said, he’s always ten years ahead, and I think in a few years people will really are just how visionary these records are.

  11. #14561
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    683
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    Since a few people brought up NTAE, Add Violence and Bad Witch, I just want to chime in and say that these are three FLAWLESS Records. This output is as good if not better than anything he has ever done. I have been around since the days of The Downward Spiral which I have always considered a perfect album. But The Trilogy is exquisite. There is a depth of story to be explored, a look both outward and inward. Vocals have such a range that he has never quite explored before, the music really pushes the boundaries in new directions. It’s absolutely inspiring. If TDS was the only great thing he ever made, he should still be a legend, but to continue pushing yourself this hard, with this much passion as you age, is fantastically inspiring to me. It gives us all hope that our best days, our best work might still be ahead of us. As Trent has said, he’s always ten years ahead, and I think in a few years people will really are just how visionary these records are.
    The Trilogy is equal to The Downward Spiral or The Fragile, I know many willl disagree but I think time will be really kind to these records especially when more and more people realize they are meant to be listened as a one album

  12. #14562
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    176
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    And let me ask, do you have highlights you can readily point out?
    And I guess I just wanted to tell you
    As the light starts to fade
    That you are the reason
    That I am not afraid
    And I guess I just wanted to mention
    As the heavens will fall
    We will be together soon
    If we will be anything at all


    Really all of Year Zero is a high-water mark for Trent lyrically in my opinion. But I feel like Trent's lyrics, in particular among musical artists, demand context for proper power. Its his delivery that gives his lyrics their true power and isolated from the music, their strength does not show nearly as strongly. Like, for instance, "And don't tell me that you care / There really isn't anything now is there?" doesn't seem so strong written out but its delivery in I Do Not Want This makes it an unforgettable line for me. Ditto for "There is no moving past / There is no better place / There is no future point in time / We will not get away" from The Background World. Read off the screen, pretty straightforward. In the song, with Trent's delivery? Unbelievably haunting.

    I like Trent's lyrics, but they are generally done a disservice when isolated from the music. Interestingly enough, I think Trent's best prose writing often emerges in the hidden lyrics that were never recorded or meant to be musically arranged in the first place. The Life You Didn't Lead from the With Teeth poster is just gorgeous, and the hidden unsung lyrics in Branches/Bones, The Background World, and God Break Down the Door aren't just powerfully eerie - they're arguably some of the most important lines in the Trilogy, verging on being literal thesis statements for each release. When's he's writing to fit music, the music comes first. When the lyrics are meant to be digested separately, or dreamily spill over a soundscape without rhyming (a la The New Flesh, parts of Zero-Sum, Burning Bright (Field On Fire), The Lovers, etc), I find they leave a lingering impact all on their own.

    But then again, I happen to be a huge fan of Trent's spoken word style lyrics, and fucking adore Burning Bright. I'll throw my two cents in with those singing the Trilogy's praises here, what an incredible work(s). Definitely stands tall with some of my all time favorite NIN material. I remember like two days after Ghosts V-VI came out there were people talking about how much more they liked it than the Trilogy and I thought my head might explode.

    And yes Head Down fucking rules. Strong contender for best track on The Slip but that has always been a deceptively strong album.

    In any case, even at his most immature, I have always appreciated the nakedly frank, open, and honest style of Trent's lyrics. He has become a better wordsmith for sure, but his lyrics have never felt anything less than genuine, warts and all. In my opinion it's far preferable to try-hard intellectual wankery where calculated pretension buries anything potentially embarrassing or threatening to a carefully cultivated image.

  13. #14563
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    167
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    Since a few people brought up NTAE, Add Violence and Bad Witch, I just want to chime in and say that these are three FLAWLESS Records. This output is as good if not better than anything he has ever done. I have been around since the days of The Downward Spiral which I have always considered a perfect album. But The Trilogy is exquisite. There is a depth of story to be explored, a look both outward and inward. Vocals have such a range that he has never quite explored before, the music really pushes the boundaries in new directions. It’s absolutely inspiring. If TDS was the only great thing he ever made, he should still be a legend, but to continue pushing yourself this hard, with this much passion as you age, is fantastically inspiring to me. It gives us all hope that our best days, our best work might still be ahead of us. As Trent has said, he’s always ten years ahead, and I think in a few years people will really are just how visionary these records are.
    i agree and i think you described this very well. i will even go as far as to say, TR's storytelling throughout the NIN discography has been top notch and because its been so good for so long, we need stuff like the Year Zero tv series, perhaps a tv series based on the NTAE/AV/BW trilogy as well. i feel something like these works are important in the times we live in today.

  14. #14564
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,418
    Mentioned
    51 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon Blackfire View Post
    [Stuff about Trent's lyricism]
    Well, this is just a fucking excellent post. Thank you for putting it out there in the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon Blackfire View Post
    But I feel like Trent's lyrics, in particular among musical artists, demand context for proper power. Its his delivery that gives his lyrics their true power and isolated from the music, their strength does not show nearly as strongly...

    they are generally done a disservice when isolated from the music...

    Read off the screen, pretty straightforward. In the song, with Trent's delivery? Unbelievably haunting.

    When's he's writing to fit music, the music comes first. When the lyrics are meant to be digested separately, or dreamily spill over a soundscape without rhyming (a la The New Flesh, parts of Zero-Sum, Burning Bright (Field On Fire), The Lovers, etc), I find they leave a lingering impact all on their own...
    Yes. I said above that I don't generally love that style of song as much as I do the more straightforward work. I also mentioned in that post, though perhaps not clearly enough, that I do love that style of writing. It's where some of his best moments of poetry show up. "The New Flesh" is on a shortlist for my favorite Nine Inch Nails tracks; and the spoken parts of "I Do Not Want This," used in that scope in the track, are stark and incredibly musically effective—I was heartbroken to find he didn't do them live.

    I hadn't considered phrasing it as such, but you're definitely on the right track: When he's writing for music, the music comes first. Or if not the music, the interplay that goes into a compelling and accessible tune—which was, in the beginning at least, kind of the project's raison d'etre. I've written a lot in the Manson thread lately about how tortured Manson's lyrics can get when he's trying to pack in narrative content—Holy Wood is the worst offender, but tracks like "Eat Me, Drink Me" show evidence of the same. Trent, though he'll never be nominated for a Nobel in Literature like Dylan (who, admittedly, probably should not have been either), never succumbs to the temptation towards being overwrought in that fashion. This is a talent all its own.

    He does allow himself to be more detailed than maybe meter and melody would generally allow in these spoken tracks. Which is why I'd said I ironically think it's his probably some of his best lyric work, even if I don't tend to adore them as much as songs. Thinking about it with your perspective added in, I think we should be thankful that he never lets lyrics pervert an instrumental and that, if he's got something to say that would diminish or torture a tune, he holds back and reserves it for these kinds of tracks. Someone once said that good writing is more about knowing what to take out than what to leave in. So, kudos to Trent for knowing that there's a time and a place when you're working in the medium of songrcraft.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon Blackfire View Post
    In any case, even at his most immature, I have always appreciated the nakedly frank, open, and honest style of Trent's lyrics. He has become a better wordsmith for sure, but his lyrics have never felt anything less than genuine, warts and all. In my opinion it's far preferable to try-hard intellectual wankery where calculated pretension buries anything potentially embarrassing or threatening to a carefully cultivated image.
    Up in that Manson thread, we'd been discussing old albums and gotten to Golden Age of Grotesque, when @Tom mentioned that it was the intentionally "clever art" aspect of the project that bugged him. I concurred.

    I was a big, big fan of RJD2's first LP Deadringer. It's damn near a perfect album in my opinion. His second LP wasn't nearly as good, but it was a solid 3/5, and I think it only registers as tepidly because, if you were a fan, you couldn't not stack it next to its predecessor. Then a few years later, he finally dropped his third LP—The Third Hand. It rates among the worst records I've ever heard, and not just because it's a totally different genre in which he played to precisely none of his strengths. He had been an underground DJ/producer, doing really innovative and exciting things with his beats. Third Hand is a bad Beatles ripoff—he openly admitted that this was where his influence had come from. And someone—I couldn't tell you who—wrote about it, "There's nothing worse than when an artist decides his work isn't clever enough." That encapsulated it for me. I have since seen the same thing happen to dozens of artists I've adored—the moment they start to worry that their work isn't as smart as it could be.

    I say this again here, because I agree with your statement and thank the heavens that Trent has never gone this route—especially since it's a common pitfall for long-time writers and I imagine it was hugely tempting direction, at least with With Teeth, based on everything he said about that process and a knowledge of how recovery works. Say what you want about Nine Inch Nails' lyrics—a lot of people do—but they've never been anything less than unashamed of themselves. From "The Only Time" to "Only," Nine Inch Nails tracks are pretty unabashed. Perhaps out of a sense of discretion, perhaps out of a desire for audience projection, they've always been intentionally lyrically abstract. This does make his lyrics harder to isolate outside of their in-song context and cite in snippets as works of poetic genius, but I don't think that's what he's ever been going for—he's not John Samson or Colin Meloy. He's never seemed like he was torturing himself on trying to create something cleverer than he'd ever done. I'm certainly grateful for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon Blackfire View Post
    Interestingly enough, I think Trent's best prose writing often emerges in the hidden lyrics that were never recorded or meant to be musically arranged in the first place. The Life You Didn't Lead from the With Teeth poster is just gorgeous, and the hidden unsung lyrics in Branches/Bones, The Background World, and God Break Down the Door aren't just powerfully eerie - they're arguably some of the most important lines in the Trilogy, verging on being literal thesis statements for each release.
    From the beginning, too. I was sad when, back in '94, I found the Purest Feeling demo and the final "Ringfinger" lyric—"I'm so tired I can't get to sleep/ And the squeaking of the bed is right in time/ with the song that's repeating in my head/ I just want you to know "When I do it, I only think of you"—proved to have never been sung, even back in the early sessions (you can absolutely and effectively sing unrhymed lyrics; I think someone above suggested otherwise). For some reason, that line always stuck with me—it's the kind of concrete narrative detail often absent from his sung vocals, very evocative of a particular image or scene and not just abstract concept.

    And I'm still waiting for "The Life You Didn't Lead" to appear from somewhere—in truth, I was hoping beyond hope that it would be a part of the With Teeth Definitive Edition and, though I still haven't been able to afford it, I would have probably done something ill-advised if that had come out with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ManBurning View Post
    Totally agree. NTAE is up there and on par with "The Fragile".
    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    Since a few people brought up NTAE, Add Violence and Bad Witch, I just want to chime in and say that these are three FLAWLESS Records. This output is as good if not better than anything he has ever done. I have been around since the days of The Downward Spiral which I have always considered a perfect album. But The Trilogy is exquisite.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon Blackfire View Post
    But then again, I happen to be a huge fan of Trent's spoken word style lyrics, and fucking adore Burning Bright. I'll throw my two cents in with those singing the Trilogy's praises here, what an incredible work(s). Definitely stands tall with some of my all time favorite NIN material. I remember like two days after Ghosts V-VI came out there were people talking about how much more they liked it than the Trilogy and I thought my head might explode.
    Ha. I had the same reaction as @Deacon Blackfire . And after a night to sleep on it—we started this discussion way too late for me last night—I guess what keeps the Trilogy from being categorized up there with The Fragile or Spiral for me is a certain lack of cohesion in the project as a whole that might, in part, be because it was delivered in serialized fashion. Sure, Trent and everyone can say that they're to be digested as one complete work—that's fine and true. But if you listened to each of them upon release, you had time to explore and elaborate on them—at least the first two installments—outside of the context of the others. Ask anyone working in television in the age of streaming: Shows that make you wait between episodes have very different levels of fan engagement and much more diverse reception. Why? Because the audience is given time to think about trees and not just a forest. All three records of the Trilogy are excellent in their own way. All three are complex and lyrically and thematically rich. But, for me, they will probably never approach Fragile or Spiral because their presentation left plenty of time to tease out interpretations of and insights into the records that leave the project as a whole feeling less cohesive.

    I'd love it if I could wipe my memory for a while, get all three of them at once, and then put to paper what I saw. Contrasting that with what I take away from them now would be a fascinating experiment.

    But a big part of what sells the Trilogy for me is the instrumentals which are incredible and related to something @HWB posted in another thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by HWB View Post
    In a lot of ways, Hesitation Marks was sorta samiliar to the 90s album in sound as well, it didn't have the aggression TDS was known for at all but it marked the return to a bigger focus on electronics and a return to this "full" deep production with a lot of layers, and I felt like that 2000s albums were more minimal and had a certain feeling of being immediate but that was by design. I think Hesitation Marks was a big step stowards The Trilogy. It may not be obvious at first since it's really not noisy and Trent doesn't scream but apart from that I can hear some TDS in it, with how the song are build, are structured and how many layers there are. I spoke about this before, I think, but I think this opinion belongs here too.
    I liked Hesitation way more than most folks in these parts and this, I think, is a big part of the reason why. It wasn't quite as textural and dense as a lot of the Trilogy is, but it was definitely moving in that direction. And after The Slip—which I also love way more than most folks around here—and With Teeth, hearing increasing levels of musical depth and complication was so relieving. In many ways, these three EPs are the records I would have expected to see back in 2005, on the back of the era of Spiral and The Fragile, and until they came out, I hadn't completely admitted how much I missed that aspect of Nine Inch Nails.

    I remember when Hesitation Marks came out and I thought to myself that he couldn't have made that record if it weren't for Year Zero. And How to Destroy Angels. And The Social Network. And when the Trilogy dropped, I don't think a lot of us immediately put together how much Hesitation Marks had to exist for the seeds of the Trilogy to sprout.

    So, yeah, to respond to everyone I just quoted: I get where you're coming from. I can't put these in the same league as Spiral or The Fragile, but they are next in line in instrumental texture and complication; they've got excellent lyrics that in some ways may surpass those projects—wonderful what two decades of seasoning can do for a writer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon Blackfire View Post
    Really all of Year Zero is a high-water mark for Trent lyrically in my opinion.
    A shitload of contemporaneous critics agreed with you. Everyone—myself included—was happy to see Trent get out of his own head for a while. I'd be intrigued to see how much of the supplemental material from the ARG he had a hand in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon Blackfire View Post
    And yes Head Down fucking rules. Strong contender for best track on The Slip but that has always been a deceptively strong album.
    Somewhere on the old site, there's like 3,000 words from me on this song. Man, do I love it.

  15. #14565
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    176
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    the spoken parts of "I Do Not Want This," used in that scope in the track, are stark and incredibly musically effective—I was heartbroken to find he didn't do them live.
    Yeah this is a perfect example of what I was talking about. His language becomes much more descriptive and evocative in these places outside the Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus settings. Within those settings, they serve a musical purpose as vitally as they serve a narrative purpose. Outside those settings, the art of language is more heavily emphasized. I think for Trent the music comes first - clearly he's an intelligent man in a number of ways, but his genius is his mind for music, and so I think lyrics that appropriately fill a song and carry the right tune takes precedence to him over stunning poetry. Except of course with a song like The Lovers, which began with poetry not designed to fit a song structure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    Up in that Manson thread, we'd been discussing old albums and gotten to Golden Age of Grotesque, when @Tom mentioned that it was the intentionally "clever art" aspect of the project that bugged him. I concurred.

    (amazing RJD2 anecdote)

    I say this again here, because I agree with your statement and thank the heavens that Trent has never gone this route—especially since it's a common pitfall for long-time writers and I imagine it was hugely tempting direction, at least with With Teeth, based on everything he said about that process and a knowledge of how recovery works. Say what you want about Nine Inch Nails' lyrics—a lot of people do—but they've never been anything less than unashamed of themselves. From "The Only Time" to "Only," Nine Inch Nails tracks are pretty unabashed. Perhaps out of a sense of discretion, perhaps out of a desire for audience projection, they've always been intentionally lyrically abstract. This does make his lyrics harder to isolate outside of their in-song context and cite in snippets as works of poetic genius, but I don't think that's what he's ever been going for—he's not John Samson or Colin Meloy. He's never seemed like he was torturing himself on trying to create something cleverer than he'd ever done. I'm certainly grateful for that.
    Ah I knew I could count on you to make my point better than I did! Completely on point. Just this whole response. *chef's kiss*

    Even when he was grappling with the pressures of fame and following up success in the Fragility era, perhaps letting those insecurities affect his artistic judgment (in my opinion indicated by the very existence of Starfuckers, Inc., regardless of how you feel about it), the lyrical content seemed to pretty honestly reflect where he was at the time and not hide in some aloof literary subterfuge. I've always felt Where Is Everybody?, while not one of the most poetic examples of NIN lyrics, evidences this ("But for all I aspire / I am really a liar...God damn I am so tired of pretending / Of wishing I was ending / When all I'm really doing is trying to hide").

    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    From the beginning, too. I was sad when, back in '94, I found the Purest Feeling demo and the final "Ringfinger" lyric—"I'm so tired I can't get to sleep/ And the squeaking of the bed is right in time/ with the song that's repeating in my head/ I just want you to know "When I do it, I only think of you"—proved to have never been sung, even back in the early sessions (you can absolutely and effectively sing unrhymed lyrics; I think someone above suggested otherwise). For some reason, that line always stuck with me—it's the kind of concrete narrative detail often absent from his sung vocals, very evocative of a particular image or scene and not just abstract concept.

    And I'm still waiting for "The Life You Didn't Lead" to appear from somewhere—in truth, I was hoping beyond hope that it would be a part of the With Teeth Definitive Edition and, though I still haven't been able to afford it, I would have probably done something ill-advised if that had come out with it.
    Wow, another perfect callback, I wasn't even thinking about the hidden lyrics in Ringfinger or Something I Can Never Have! You're right, those lines in the former in particular have a lingering presence to them. And they may not be on Pretty Hate Machine or Purest Feeling, but they were on the other (demo?) version of Twist!



    Now that I think about it, Pretty Hate Machine has a pretty significant amount of unsung / "hidden" lyrics.

    And yeah I would love to know whether The Life You Didn't Lead and Message to No One had musical forms or if they were just lyrical embellishments of With Teeth's narrative. Given The Warning on the With Teeth poster was clearly an early version of the Year Zero track (only made super evident when the With Teeth deluxe edition made people realize that there were lyrics embedded beneath the title which closely resemble the final song's), I'm leaning toward the former. Just lump them into the Holy Grail collection of lost / potentially reworked NIN songs, along with My Dead Friend, the unreleased tracks listed on that maaaaybe real With Teeth promo (Cover It Up, Good Day, The End), and most importantly, Just Do It. Oh, and any Deviations songs that had finished vocals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    Ha. I had the same reaction as @Deacon Blackfire . And after a night to sleep on it—we started this discussion way too late for me last night—I guess what keeps the Trilogy from being categorized up there with The Fragile or Spiral for me is a certain lack of cohesion in the project as a whole that might, in part, be because it was delivered in serialized fashion. Sure, Trent and everyone can say that they're to be digested as one complete work—that's fine and true. But if you listened to each of them upon release, you had time to explore and elaborate on them—at least the first two installments—outside of the context of the others. Ask anyone working in television in the age of streaming: Shows that make you wait between episodes have very different levels of fan engagement and much more diverse reception. Why? Because the audience is given time to think about trees and not just a forest. All three records of the Trilogy are excellent in their own way. All three are complex and lyrically and thematically rich. But, for me, they will probably never approach Fragile or Spiral because their presentation left plenty of time to tease out interpretations of and insights into the records that leave the project as a whole feeling less cohesive.
    This is, as usual, an extremely articulate and nuanced opinion that I 100% get. It's always hard for me to rank the NIN discography - even now I'm not positive what my absolute favorite is, despite usually leaning toward TDS as the best overall - and when it comes to hallowed ground like The Downward Spiral and The Fragile it's hard for even terrific new material compare to that audience relationship and mystique, especially when it's released like the Trilogy in a way that approaches the format and how the music will be digested so differently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    A shitload of contemporaneous critics agreed with you. Everyone—myself included—was happy to see Trent get out of his own head for a while. I'd be intrigued to see how much of the supplemental material from the ARG he had a hand in.
    Would be very interested in finding out as well.

    This is one of the reasons why Right Where It Belongs is not just a great closer, but a perfect bridge to Year Zero and the next era of Nine Inch Nails. At the close of an album all about (more or less) the long and hard road back to reality through sobriety, the final track is a quietly building recognition of how even outside the illusion of addiction, something is terribly wrong with the world - something outside of himself. No longer blinded by inner turmoil, the outer turmoil is laid bare. The With Teeth Tour visuals for the song made the political commentary lurking beneath the surface much more overt. And then, enter Year Zero, perfectly on cue.
    Last edited by Deacon Blackfire; 08-15-2020 at 07:55 PM.

  16. #14566
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Bayonne Leave It Alone
    Posts
    4,343
    Mentioned
    80 Post(s)
    I think I've said this on here before: Trent is purposefully saving Idea of You as an "oh shit" moment for us nerds on a future tour. As said that song is begging to be played live, so I think it was a very conscious decision to save it. Which is totally fair considering all the older classics he dropped on us out of nowhere in 2018. Gotta keep some in the holster.

  17. #14567
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    999
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    I wasn't prepared for a RJD2 mention in this here thread. Excellent story right there.

    Spoiler: (I dug his productions for other artists more than his solo stuff, though, Deadringer included.

    Have you listened to this very very underrated album? It's got a few of RJD2s best ever beats on it, imo)

  18. #14568
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,418
    Mentioned
    51 Post(s)
    @r_z : Yep. I’ve been spinning that LP for fifteen years. People always get excited and ask what the heck it is—especially during Vast Aire’s bit during “Big Game.” It was sad that it never took off.

  19. #14569
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    683
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Demon Seed is absolutely excellent.
    Last edited by HWB; 08-17-2020 at 04:40 AM.

  20. #14570
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    683
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    You know, I often wonder about genres, like what genre do specific NIN albums fit into, like, what is Hesitation Marks genre-wise? Some people call it an Electro-Industrial record yet I think it is perhaps little bit too clean for that? Maybe Synthpop/EBM with a hint of Alt Rock in some tracks? I don't know but I wonder a lot.

  21. #14571
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    297
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    The Trilogy as a whole has grown on me over the years. I wasn't completely sold on all of NTAE when I first heard it, but the more I listen to it, the more I love it. Add Violence was an instant winner for me, but that's because I'm still a sucker for the hard, fast aggressive NIN. Bad Witch is still my least favorite, but I do like it for the weirdness and the risks that he takes on the record. It shows that the NIN story isn't over and it's a peak at where he could take it next, which makes me so excited for the next album, EP, whatever the hell it is. I will say, all three releases blew me away with the vocals. Some of them were so damn sinister they gave me chills! And of course Trent singing on God Breakdown the Door. Completely unexpected, but I think it works. I just like that he keeps finding ways to actually make new, exciting, and provocative music rather than gives us 5 more versions of TDS.

  22. #14572
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,418
    Mentioned
    51 Post(s)
    Fucking errors everywhere!
    Last edited by Sesquipedalism; 08-18-2020 at 03:59 AM. Reason: FUCKING SYSTEM ERRORS

  23. #14573
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,418
    Mentioned
    51 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HWB View Post
    You know, I often wonder about genres, like what genre do specific NIN albums fit into, like, what is Hesitation Marks genre-wise? Some people call it an Electro-Industrial record yet I think it is perhaps little bit too clean for that? Maybe Synthpop/EBM with a hint of Alt Rock in some tracks? I don't know but I wonder a lot.
    About ten years ago, I was offered a basically guaranteed slot to do a PhD in Magical Realism, a literary form I sort of de facto majored in during undergrad. In one class dedicated just to Magical Realism, the first day you wrote for an hour and a half on the question "What is Magical Realism?" (There had been pre-enrollment reading, so it wasn't going in stone cold.) The final exam was answering the same question in twentysome pages. "What is Magical Realism?" And, I shit you not, the majority of the scholarship in the field is people writing paper-length academic arguments about what is or isn't Magical Realism, what should or shouldn't be considered Magical Realism and why. There's some nuance there, and sometimes this argument was put forth for greater purposes, but that's what a fuckton of it boiled down to.

    For a number of reasons, I passed on this opportunity.

    Out of my years in academia, I got one thing besides colossal debt for certain: an uncompromising hatred of the idea of genres. Genres are boxes created by humans for the convenience of humans. When they start to become inconvenient—which is usually almost immediately—there's no reason not to reorganize or disregard them altogether. Humans are inclined towards definitive statements and away from nuance; the idea of genre, as commonly handled, only encourages this and it kneecaps everyone.

    Genre doesn't serve artists in the least—genre always under-describes and at least subtly misrepresents. It quickly ends up serving a gatekeeping function; for some reason, people seem to lean into prescriptivism when given the "power of genre" and away from a more relaxed and potentially helpful descriptivist attitude. And though it pretends to, genre doesn't really serve audiences, either—if I follow strict "genre" recommendations on streaming services or Amazon because I enjoy The Downward Spiral, I find almost no records I like (I've run this experiment with a number of favorite records, or did when you could do such things without pure black box algorithms). Sometimes, the idea of genre puts you in the ballpark of something. And that's great. But very few people seem inclined to allow it to only do that. And the risk of allowing things to be undermarketed or ignored because they don't fit well with established categories is one of those things where even one case is too much.

    I find "What genre is this?" to be a useless question in almost any circumstance. Or if "useless" seems too rough, then "inferior." Better questions could be asked.

    Where I'm concerned, in discussions of art I stand firm at fuck genres. You want to talk idiom and nuance, let's do it.



    *Which is intended as an indictment of the insufficience of genre, not you for wondering, @HWB .
    Last edited by Sesquipedalism; 08-18-2020 at 04:05 AM. Reason: Persistent system errors won't let edits go through.

  24. #14574
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    1,890
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    I got one thing besides colossal debt for certain: an uncompromising hatred of the idea of genres. Genres are boxes created by humans for the convenience of humans.
    Yeah, this. I like genre's as a concept in the broadest possible brushstrokes but once you start trying to define the details, one can get lost in the minutia of it all (and then you have 100s of sub-genres). What I dislike the most is those who self-label themselves/their music and they obviously are neglecting crucial aspects of that label... which is why i tend to let others do the labelling and if whatever *I'm* doing doesn't fit that label, it's not my concern. I wasn't trying to meet others expectations/definitions.

  25. #14575
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,418
    Mentioned
    51 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MrLobster View Post
    What I dislike the most is those who self-label themselves/their music and they obviously are neglecting crucial aspects of that label... which is why i tend to let others do the labelling and if whatever *I'm* doing doesn't fit that label, it's not my concern. I wasn't trying to meet others expectations/definitions.
    A big problem, though, is that most people are so into the idea of classification that—especially in our system—artists have to lean into that sort of self-labelling if they want to reach larger audiences. Which is fine...ish....sometimes, except for all the times it's actually a disservice. I spoke with a literary agent one time who pressed me to the point of incomprehensibility to tag my fiction with genre descriptors. I had to be a good salesperson. And she had a very annoying spreadsheet that amounted, essentially, to stickers for me to pick and slap on myself.

  26. #14576
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    1,890
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    A big problem, though, is that most people are so into the idea of classification that—especially in our system—artists have to lean into that sort of self-labelling if they want to reach larger audiences. Which is fine...ish....sometimes, except for all the times it's actually a disservice. I spoke with a literary agent one time who pressed me to the point of incomprehensibility to tag my fiction with genre descriptors. I had to be a good salesperson. And she had a very annoying spreadsheet that amounted, essentially, to stickers for me to pick and slap on myself.
    "Where shall we put William Gibson today? Sci-Fi, Fiction Bestsellers (New York Times) or Canadian..."

  27. #14577
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,418
    Mentioned
    51 Post(s)
    William Gibson is a great example of genre failing an artist. Kurt Vonnegut is another. I would absolutely argue that it’s served Nine Inch Nails poorly.

  28. #14578
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    1,890
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    I would absolutely argue that it’s served Nine Inch Nails poorly.
    In my digital library, they are listed as "Electronic".

  29. #14579
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    London
    Posts
    301
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Genre labels are helpful insofar as they mark certain ways in which pieces of music resemble one another. They can tell us that a given piece of music resembles some other pieces of music in certain relevant respect. Taken at this level, as just describing certain family resemblances, they're fairly harmless, and sometimes be helpful. They're problematic though when they're taken to mark fundamental categories, or natural kinds, with certain necessary and sufficient conditions for inclusion and exclusion. So understood, genres don't intersect; they can subdivide, but they don't overlap. And so for any piece of music the question arises as to which one of these categories it belongs to, and disagreements pointlessly ensue. If we just think of genres as labels for family resemblances, these disagreements (at least) shouldn't get started, since it's perfectly possible for a single piece of music to resemble very different pieces of music in very different respects. I think Nine Inch Nails is a good example of this, which is why it's always been so difficult to box it into a particular genre.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLobster View Post
    In my digital library, they are listed as "Electronic".
    Ditto!

  30. #14580
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    683
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    I still find the genre discussion interesting, I do not get hanged up over it but we have them for a reason, the more complicated it is to pin point a genre on a record the more interesting it is to me and I find the discussion of that interesting. I know some people get really hostile about it like "AAAA how dare you call NIN any type of Industrial?!" but I think my question was fairly innocent and just curious, I do not intend to gate keep or anything lke that, we have genres for a reason and they help music discussion quite a bit, I don't genres did NIN wrong, it's just people who do not know how to properly use them.
    Last edited by HWB; 08-18-2020 at 09:12 AM.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions