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Thread: halo twenty eight. hesitation marks. 09.03.2013

  1. #7141
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    Quote Originally Posted by slopesandsam View Post
    and the post-punk movement in general were doing the heavy production + drum machine thing before it became a staple of hip-hop. You could probably argue that that movement (if not NIN in particular) were influences on rap and hip-hop production, and then rap and hip-hop production was an influence on NIN in turn.
    If we take the evolution of the Purest Feeling demos to the finished Pretty Hate Machine album, I think that the production Adrian Sherwood and Keith LeBlanc had bears out that... coming from Reggae/Dub/Industrial roots (with On-U Sound and Ministry) and Tommy Boy respectively.

  2. #7142
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    Quote Originally Posted by slopesandsam View Post
    I feel like this is sort of a snake-eating-its-own-tail argument. Because NIN, other industrial bands, and the post-punk movement in general were doing the heavy production + drum machine thing before it became a staple of hip-hop. You could probably argue that that movement (if not NIN in particular) were influences on rap and hip-hop production, and then rap and hip-hop production was an influence on NIN in turn.
    Yeah thatís just not true at all. Hip hop and rap date back to the early eighties. You should watch the documentary on Amazon about the 808 drum machine. As with much of modern music, the innovations actually came from the black community and were later cooped by white culture. The same is true of jazz, blues, rock and roll, and rap, all of which are the foundations of modern music.

    Trent Reznor is absolutely innovative and yes his music did go on to become an influence for all kinds of musicians including hip hop artists. But letís be honest with ourselves. Trent Reznor did not in any way lay the foundation for modern hip hop.

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    I remembered this week that I had the audiophile mastered version in a hard drive, and I hadn't listened to it in years. While "audiophile" might not have been the best way to describe this master, it's amazing how much the album improves by listening to this version.
    Last edited by mauro995; 05-11-2019 at 07:13 AM.

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    After getting into The Cure I get more vibes from them throughout most of Hesitation Marks rather than Hip-Hop, especially "Everything", perhaps it's just that one song, but I connect Hesitation Marks to some Cure albums..

    The more of a Hip-Hop influenced album is Year Zero.
    Quote Originally Posted by mauro995 View Post
    I remembered this week that I had the audiophile mastered version in a hard drive, and I hadn't listened to it in years. While "audiophile" might not have been the best way to describe this master, it's amazing how much the album improves by listening to this version.
    I haven't listened to the "normal" master of the album in years, I always stick to the "Audiophile" now. I am not sure how significant the differences actually are between the two masters.

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    I recently put this album back on again after sitting on it for awhile and I forgot how much there was to enjoy through it. I see this album get more of a negative rep. than it actually deserves. I get the criticism at times, but overall - I still really enjoy this one. Honestly, the only track that doesn't work for me is "Satellite" and that's probably due to how Year Zero the song feels in both a production standpoint and lyrically. Year Zero still remains the one Nine Inch Nails project that no matter how many times I want it to click for me it ... it never does.

    Also, if there's a fan club for those who actually really love "Everything" - let me be a member, please. It's SO unlike anything within the rest of the album and I'll fully admit that the track doesn't belong on the record ... but it wears it's love for The Cure on it's sleeve and it's just a really enjoyable track. I think my admiration of similar sounding bands makes me enjoy the track as much as I do.

    To me, Hesitation Marks is like With Teeth with a little bit of The Fragile mixed in. There are hooks all over the record, but there's a lot more going on within the textures of the tracks than the straight-forward rock of WT. With a little bit more added to them ... songs like "Disappointed", "Various Methods of Escape" (some two of my favorites off the album), "Running" and "In Two" could've easily sat on Disc 2 of The Fragile IMO. I get where Trent is coming from in that the album has a "minimal" approach ("Copy of A"'s rigid, yet awesome drum sequence for sure) but there is a lot beneath the surface to enjoy. Though it's a little all over the place and Trent would kick the shit out of my expectations a few years later with Bad Witch, it was good to revisit this album again.
    Last edited by thefragile_jake; 05-11-2019 at 01:45 PM.

  6. #7146
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    Quote Originally Posted by thefragile_jake View Post
    I recently put this album back on again after sitting on it for awhile and I forgot how much there was to enjoy through it. I see this album get more of a negative rep. than it actually deserves. I get the criticism at times, but overall - I still really enjoy this one. Honestly, the only track that doesn't work for me is "Satellite" and that's probably due to how Year Zero the song feels in both a production standpoint and lyrically. Year Zero still remains the one Nine Inch Nails project that no matter how many times I want it to click for me it ... it never does.

    Also, if there's a fan club for those who actually really love "Everything" - let me be a member, please. It's SO unlike anything within the rest of the album and I'll fully admit that the track doesn't belong on the record ... but it wears it's love for The Cure on it's sleeve and it's just a really enjoyable track. I think my enjoyment of similar sounding bands makes me enjoy the track as much as I do.

    To me, Hesitation Marks is like With Teeth with a little bit of The Fragile mixed in. There are hooks all over the record, but there's a lot more going on within the textures of the tracks than the straight-forward rock of WT. With a little bit more added to them ... songs like "Disappointed", "Various Methods of Escape" (some two of my favorites off the album), "Running" and "In Two" could've easily sat on Disc 2 of The Fragile IMO. I get where Trent is coming from in that the album has a "minimal" approach ("Copy of A"'s rigid, yet awesome drum sequence for sure) but there is a lot beneath the surface to enjoy. Though it's a little all over the place and Trent would kick the shit out of my expectations a few years later with Bad Witch, it was good to revisit this album again.
    I am totally with you on all of this. Count me in on Everything as well. People don't know what's good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thefragile_jake View Post
    I recently put this album back on again after sitting on it for awhile and I forgot how much there was to enjoy through it. I see this album get more of a negative rep. than it actually deserves. I get the criticism at times, but overall - I still really enjoy this one. Honestly, the only track that doesn't work for me is "Satellite" and that's probably due to how Year Zero the song feels in both a production standpoint and lyrically. Year Zero still remains the one Nine Inch Nails project that no matter how many times I want it to click for me it ... it never does.

    Also, if there's a fan club for those who actually really love "Everything" - let me be a member, please. It's SO unlike anything within the rest of the album and I'll fully admit that the track doesn't belong on the record ... but it wears it's love for The Cure on it's sleeve and it's just a really enjoyable track. I think my admiration of similar sounding bands makes me enjoy the track as much as I do.

    To me, Hesitation Marks is like With Teeth with a little bit of The Fragile mixed in. There are hooks all over the record, but there's a lot more going on within the textures of the tracks than the straight-forward rock of WT. With a little bit more added to them ... songs like "Disappointed", "Various Methods of Escape" (some two of my favorites off the album), "Running" and "In Two" could've easily sat on Disc 2 of The Fragile IMO. I get where Trent is coming from in that the album has a "minimal" approach ("Copy of A"'s rigid, yet awesome drum sequence for sure) but there is a lot beneath the surface to enjoy. Though it's a little all over the place and Trent would kick the shit out of my expectations a few years later with Bad Witch, it was good to revisit this album again.
    EXACTLY what I was thinking of, the record gave me a lot of The Fragile vibes. Stuff like "Even Deeper" wouldn't be out of place on Hesitation Marks.

    What sometimes bothers me how people look at this album as Trent's "happy" album, I think that is just not understanding what each of the songs are trying to get across.

    Also, I am on that "Everything rocks" club, I think, when you think about it, it works even in the context of the album Disappointed goes really well into it.

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    This morning I put on HM and I was suddenly struck by how this album could have been approached a little differently to give it a different story arc and get rid of a couple tracks that feel a little weaker or don't fit. I know that's an audacious claim to make, but it has increased my enjoyment of the album and perhaps it will do the same for you. Think of this as an alternate universe version of what Hesitation Marks could have been if Trent and Atticus had made a few different editorial choices. Not better or worse, just different:

    "Everything"
    "Came Back Haunted"
    "In Two"
    "All Time Low"
    "The Eater of Dreams"
    "Copy of a"
    "Disappointed"
    "I Would for You"
    "Various Methods of Escape"
    "While I'm Still Here"
    "Black Noise"
    "Find My Way"


    "Satellite" was cut because while it fits the album sonically, I believe that it is thematically out of place. "Running" is cut because it is a decent track, but it doesn't really say anything that the others do not. This leaves it at 12 tracks. One might even cut "Disappointed" and "In Two" if you really wanted to be ruthless. I like those tracks, but they would be the next to end up as B-sides as far as I am concerned.

    I paid a lot of attention to how the songs flow into one another. "Eater of Dreams" works nicely before "Copy of a", and serves as a quiet interlude. Everything opens up the album as kind of a thesis - here is what the album is about - but also serves to say, "this is where my journey begins. I survived everything. Now what?" The story arc kind of ends at "While I'm Still Here" but now "Find My Way" serves as a coda - kind of like Hurt. An appeal and maybe a question to end the album. And it ends where it began - I have to every place. I have been to everywhere.

    I feel blasphemous for posting this - like why should I know better than Trent and Atticus about the order of the album and the arc of the story, so take all this for what it is. It's just something I discovered that I enjoy.


    I guess this is what we do when there is no NIN news or releases for a while...

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    Oh, and on InTwo - starting at 2:57 - is that a sample of Hurt playing?! If you go to the end of Hurt (like 5:12) or so.... it sounds the SAME to me. Like he put that last part of hurt as a sample on a keyboard and just kept hitting it but only letting you hear a fraction of a second of it each time.

    Maybe it just sounds similar, but it would make a lot of sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    Oh, and on InTwo - starting at 2:57 - is that a sample of Hurt playing?! If you go to the end of Hurt (like 5:12) or so.... it sounds the SAME to me. Like he put that last part of hurt as a sample on a keyboard and just kept hitting it but only letting you hear a fraction of a second of it each time.

    Maybe it just sounds similar, but it would make a lot of sense.
    I think it's a different synth, though superficially they do bear some resemblance. If you listen very closely the sound gets filtered all over the place and seems to build in intensity after the guitars re-enter. So, probably not just a single sample, but a continuous tone being manipulated through synthesis (possibly racks and racks of modular units).

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    @Max currently trying your tracklist. I added Satellite and Running between Everything and Came Back Haunted, and it works I think. Also weird for In Two to not be the climax at the tail of the album but it works. Great flow between all time low and the eater of dreams.
    Last edited by StockAvuryah; 06-12-2019 at 07:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StockAvuryah View Post
    @Max currently trying your tracklist. I added Satellite and Running between Everything and Came Back Haunted, and it works I think. Also weird for In Two to not be the climax at the tail of the album but it works. Great flow between all time low and the eater of dreams.
    Oh cool! It just goes to show how much the arrangement of the tracks affects the experience and even the meaning of an album. Like editing a movie. A actually love satellite, it just feels more Year Zero in its content. But what a great album.

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    "While I'm Still Here" and "Black Noise" had me in awe last night. I guess it was my first full listen since I bought some new head phones, but wow, I can't stop thinking about listening to those two songs again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by d1stinct View Post
    "While I'm Still Here" and "Black Noise" had me in awe last night. I guess it was my first full listen since I bought some new head phones, but wow, I can't stop thinking about listening to those two songs again.
    I always crave Branches/Bones after those. And then the rest of The Trilogy. And then the next NIN release. Thank you Black Noise.

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    Coming back to this album after all these years is interesting, it has aged incredibly well, years have done wonders for it, it sounds great and I can kind of see where all the connections to The Downward Spiral come from, even with its sound, it isn't distorted, loud, noisy as that album, but it has the same meliticousness, if that makes sense? Albums After Fragile and before Teeth were more "raw" with it sound, more stripped down, I am not calling those records bad by any means, but there was a change in direction, I feel like Hesitation Marks truly came back with that eye for detail which Fragile/Spiral are known for, with expansive atmospheric soundscapes which gave so much life to those two legendary albums. Does that make sense?

    I know that Hesitation Marks was called "minimal" and in some ways, it isn't wrong destripctor to make, a lot of these songs start off that way but eventually build up to these really complex soundscapes or even just transform into entirely something else entirely, songs go through various of forms on this album, which is also kind of reminding me of Spiral or Fragile, I cannot recall from With Teeth to Slip songs being that way, there are some, like say "All The Love In The World". But I feel like almost every single song on Hesitation Marks is like that, even "Everything" which is the shortest song on here has a really cool expansive outro.

    I'd like to copy-paste my RYM review, for my thoughts upon the record overall;

    Hesitation Marks comes five years after The Slip and is the polar opposite to that album in every possible way, where The Slip was urgent, raw, guitar-heavy and noisy, Hesitation Marks is careful, layered, the guitar is the supporting element to the songs rather than being the main part of the show here.

    NIN finds itself experimenting with grooves and other elements, which creates their most accessible album since With Teeth, it is arguably their least rock-focused main album. It is the most subtle album, where almost every song begins very minimal and is built upon more and more until it becomes something completely else, in a way, each song feels like a journey where you find yourself in a different place from where you began.

    There is a big focus on percussion, drum machines, the percussion work is some of the most impressive NIN ever had to offer. It feels as if the rest of the instruments are around them, creating feelings of claustrophobia. The guitar here, as previously noted, is mostly used to add more atmosphere to the songs, the best example of this can be seen on "Disappointed" where a swarming guitar enters ever so often.


    Each song does its best to cover a different, new ground for the band, from "Copy Of A's" infectious EBM attack, All Time Low's funk and Everything's undeniable The Cure influence. Even with all this, the album doesn't feel disjointed and each of these songs goes hand in hand, going into one another perfectly.

    The album sounds absurdly crystal clear, incredibly polished while not feeling overproduced, which adds a lot to it due to how much under the surface there is to so many of these songs. You'll be finding new layers of sound upon many relistens.

    Trent rarely screams, this is the album where he probably sings and whispers the most; there are no walls of noise here; this a subtle album where the feelings of anxiety take over rather than the ones of anger, the album is full of self-doubt and worries of what may be, could be, the haunting, reverbed sounds push this forward, feeling regret and shame covers most of this record. Even if the distortion is rarely seen here, something still feels inherently broken here, this isn't Trent's "upward-spiral" in any capacity as some would like you to believe. It is a dark album about being scared of going back to what you were and feeling the guilt of your past still lingering within your mind, no matter how many years have passed.
    Last edited by HWB; 09-25-2019 at 06:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thefragile_jake View Post
    Honestly, the only track that doesn't work for me is "Satellite" and that's probably due to how Year Zero the song feels in both a production standpoint and lyrically. Year Zero still remains the one Nine Inch Nails project that no matter how many times I want it to click for me it ... it never does.

    Also, if there's a fan club for those who actually really love "Everything" - let me be a member, please. It's SO unlike anything within the rest of the album and I'll fully admit that the track doesn't belong on the record ... but it wears it's love for The Cure on it's sleeve and it's just a really enjoyable track. I think my admiration of similar sounding bands makes me enjoy the track as much as I do.
    I'm the total opposite. I love Satellite - thought it should have been the radio single. Weirdly, I'm a huge fan of YZ (probably my third favourite NIN album behind TF and TDS), but I don't think Satellite is at all like anything off YZ, except the lyrics, kinda. Musically, it's completely different.

    Everything, on the other hand, is a song I still find jarring whenever it comes on. I don't actually think the song is bad, I just think it's placement on the album is wrong. It would have been great as the opening track, I reckon.

    HM overall is an album I liked right from the first listen. I'm not super taken with the first couple of tracks, they're a bit too traditionally poppy for my taste, but pretty much everything after Came Back Haunted is great. And yeah, I agree that a lot of it sounds like it could have fit comfortably on TF.

    (Also, does anyone else really love the demos Trent plays on the "Trent Reznor In Conversation With..." thing? They're so great.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by slopesandsam View Post
    (Also, does anyone else really love the demos Trent plays on the "Trent Reznor In Conversation With..." thing? They're so great.)

    Absolutely!

    Fun fact: "HesitationMarks" is still the name of my WiFi. :-) (And NAS media server is "DeltaMachine" - Depeche Mode.)

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    I saw someone mention on another thread that Trent has recently said that he isn't happy with HM. Is this true, and does anyone know the source?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slopesandsam View Post
    I saw someone mention on another thread that Trent has recently said that he isn't happy with HM. Is this true, and does anyone know the source?
    i don’t know where it was, but he said he doesn’t know who that guy who made it is anymore - (probably because Trump happened and maybe he felt he was resting on his laurels a bit? I don’t know). I still love HM but I certainly think there is something more fiery about the recent EPs and live performances. The Royal Festival Hall show is one of the top shows I've been to ever (maybe THE top one)
    Last edited by WorzelG; 10-01-2019 at 02:20 AM.

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    It's from an interview posted on nin.com if you scroll down far enough - Trent Reznor in conversation with Lizzy Goodman:

    OBVIOUSLY YOUíVE EXPLORED VIOLENCE AND AGGRESSION BEFORE, BUT THIS FEELS LIKE A RETURN TO THAT WAVELENGTH. AND THE SHOWS YOU PLAYED LAST YEAR FOLLOWED SUIT. THEY WERE SPARE AND LOUD AND PENETRATING. IíVE HEARD YOU TALK BEFORE ABOUT THE CHALLENGE OF REACHING PEOPLE THROUGH THE POLARIZED HAZE OF ONLINE LIFE, I WONDER IF YOU SEE NINE INCH NAILS, AND PARTICULARLY THIS MORE AGGRESSIVE SIDE OF NINE INCH NAILS, AS AN ANTIDOTE TO ALL THAT, AS A KIND OF EXISTENTIAL GREASE CUTTER. IS THAT WHERE THE NEED TO BE EXTRA ABRASIVE IS COMING FROM?

    I THINK THE IMPETUS FOR THIS TRILOGY Ö GOD, I SOUNDS LIKE SPINAL TAP. LOOK, WHEN I THINK BACK TO THE LAST PROPER ALBUM, HESITATION MARKS, I DONíT REALLY KNOW WHO THAT GUY IS. LIKE, MY HEAD ISNíT THERE ANYMORE. AND IT WASNíT THAT LONG AGO. WE WERE JUST INTO SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT. IíM MAKING SET LISTS FOR SHOWS COMING UP AND THEREíS VERY LITTLE ON THERE FROM THAT ALBUM BECAUSE I DONíT FEEL IT RIGHT NOW. WHEREAS, I WAS REALLY DOWN ON WITH TEETH FOR A LONG TIME BUT NOW, FOR WHATEVER REASON, IT SOUNDS GOOD TO ME. NOT THAT I LISTEN TO IT THAT MUCH BUT IT POPPED ON THE OTHER DAY AND I THOUGHT, FUCK, I FORGOT I EVEN WROTE THAT SONG.


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    It’s never really struck me before but it must be really weird being an artist of whatever description and trying to evaluate your own work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WorzelG View Post
    i don’t know where it was, but he said he doesn’t know who that guy who made it is anymore - (probably because Trump happened and maybe he felt he was resting on his laurels a bit? I don’t know). I still love HM but I certainly think there is something more fiery about the recent EPs and live performances. The Royal Festival Hall show is one of the top shows I've been to ever (maybe THE top one)
    I didn't realise you were at that show as well!

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    It does feel like HM came from a more optimistic place when it was written, it's still dark, but a funky kind of dark. Then the world SHAT itself and we were all reminded how fucking awful the worst people can be. Just thinking back to 2013-2014...things were OK. Trent was probably coming from the same place, things were OK, he was starting a family, work was good, the hate on soical media was manageable, the bad stuff was easily dealt with...now 5 short years later

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    Yeah, to have anything to say on the album he even had to think back to his TDS era self. Or so he said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WorzelG View Post
    i don’t know where it was, but he said he doesn’t know who that guy who made it is anymore - (probably because Trump happened and maybe he felt he was resting on his laurels a bit? I don’t know). I still love HM but I certainly think there is something more fiery about the recent EPs and live performances. The Royal Festival Hall show is one of the top shows I've been to ever (maybe THE top one)
    Ah, the gig where we thought the show was going to be The Fragile in full and we got trolled with Terrible Lie after The Wretched.

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    Rob Sheridan said once, "who said it's a happy album?"


    'Everything' might, on the surface, make it seem like things are cheerful... but even that song is somewhat troublesome.


    I think it's a miserable album filled with unhappiness, confusion, loss, misdirection, mental health issues, etc.... Also, the album title is a term used to describe the action of creating self inflicted wounds; tempting suicide.


    This is not an I'm the happiest I've ever been album.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WorzelG View Post
    It’s never really struck me before but it must be really weird being an artist of whatever description and trying to evaluate your own work.
    i listen to my own music a lot. not out of narcissism, but because i both enjoy my work, and because i am constantly trying to learn from it so i don't repeat myself or my "mistakes"

    i know thom yorke has said he can't stand listening to radiohead (which seems so odd to me) but i'm sure that's a rare thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    i know thom yorke has said he can't stand listening to radiohead (which seems so odd to me) but i'm sure that's a rare thing.
    I don't think that's all that rare actually. It really just depends on where someone's head was when making an album and if they've had to listen to or play certain parts of it for a long time. Personally, I don't listen to what I make after it's out unless I really, really like what I've done, which is very rare.

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    When I listen to Hesitation Marks now, it's funny to me how so much current pop music sounds like a simpler version of this album. There's lots of moody, softer vocals with atmospheric beats and instrumentals on the radio at the moment. I could see somebody like a Lana Del Rey singing "Find My Way" or Billie Eilish performing "Satellite" and it seeming very natural for them. And while "Welcome Oblivion" doesn't sound the same as Hesitation Marks, I get that same feeling with HTDA right now too. I almost feel like WO would do far better commercially if it was released for the first time now. I'm sure commercial success no longer concerns Trent at this point in his career, but it's still interesting to think about.

    While many of younger pop acts aren't likely to be familiar enough with Trent's later work to consider Hesitation Marks an influence, I'm sure their production folks are familiar enough with something like HM to be influenced by it.

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    And don't forget how cool it was when every format had different artwork.
    The HM-era was great. So many good memories. Saw them in Milan (2013), Copenhagen and Vienna (2014) and those gigs were brutal.

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