The Slip Review

artist: nine inch nails date: 01/14/2009 category: compact discs
nine inch nails: The Slip
Release Date: May 5, 2008
Label: Null
Genres: Rock
Number Of Tracks: 10
The Slip is impressive in the way that it experiments with electronic elements and the shape of the rhythms, which sometimes are non-existent like in the vapid tones of Corona Radiata.
 Sound: 7.4
 Lyrics: 8.2
 Overall Impression: 7.8
 Overall rating:
 8.3 
 Reviewer rating:
 7.8 
 Users rating:
 8.7 
 Votes:
 211 
reviews (5) 91 comments vote for this album:
overall: 6.7
The Slip Reviewed by: UG Team, on may 14, 2008
4 of 13 people found this review helpful

Sound: Singer/songwriter/industrial rock shaman Trent Reznor is marking his 43rd birthday with the release of Nine Inch Nails new album The Slip. Produced by Reznor, Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder, The Slip comes out one month after NIN released their Ghosts I-IV album featuring thirty-six instrumental tracks that experiment with sound waves, mechanical textures and various levels of penetration channeling electronic effects and processed beats into the mix. The Slip has all of those too but weighs it's instrumental tracks evenly with it's vocal tracks, so fans who like Reznor's bluesy rock timbres will be pleased. The music is a stirring cauldron of machine-sounding twists, automated movements and fictional effects juxtaposed by industrial-soaked passages, downbeat grooves, electro-flashing parcels, and sonic illusions producing a free flowing opiate-crazed oasis. Whether you like NIN or not won't make a difference because any judgment you have of Reznor supersedes his skills to experiment with sounds by manipulating their tones, contrasts, volume, and sharpness. The Slip is not like listening to NIN's previous hits like Head Like A Hole or Closer, but there is no straying away from the crunchy industrial sounds that have long been associated with NIN. Some tracks loom of dark and disturbing turbulences like Hero Down and the downward spirals of Demon Seed, whose illbient textures and industrial crunching create sensations that can be described as elegant pain and internal torturing personified in it's dazed soundscapes and gloomy distorted phrases. Reznor has never been one to have songs that adhere to the typical song structure where verses and choruses are put together in an orderly fashion. Rather, the passages have a serpentine glide and the vocals will grab at the notes and smear like spray paint across the electro-spheres in the track Lights In The Sky where the pulsating keyboards seem motionless beneath Reznor's vocal hip-hop digs and careens. His pitch has a bluesy texture similar to Lenny Kravitz which is noticeable in Letting You and 1, 000, 000. The programming is cutting-edge and highly moody. Numbers like Discipline and Echoplex rack up club music with processed beats relatable to Bauhaus and Rage Against The Machine. The album turns to static vapors completely void of emotion on Corona Radiata as if the soundscapes are traveling through outer space, while The Four Of Us Are Dying have a more seductive appeal with eerie sound effects and astro-glides. The Slip has some aspects of NIN's previous releases, and yet, it is something entirely different. The album enters another realm of electronic music that isn't for clubs but propagates fantasy theatrics. // 6

Lyrics: The lyrics, similar to the music, have a dark and eerie tone to them like in Lights In The Sky where Reznor sounds as if he is entering the gloomiest recesses of his mind. He expresses, She's mostly gone / Some other place / I'm getting by / In other ways / Everything they whispered in our ear is coming true / Try to justify the things I used to do / Believe in you / Watching you drown / I'll follow you down / And I am here right beside you / The lights in the sky / Have finally arrived / I am staying right beside you. The dark and macabre is still very much a part of NIN's music. // 7

Overall Impression: The Slip is impressive in the way that it experiments with electronic elements and the shape of the rhythms, which sometimes are non-existent like in the vapid tones of Corona Radiata. Other times the processed beats have a crazed-Frankenstein stomp like in Demon Seed. Nail Inch Nails, much like their music, is constantly changing with Trent Reznor as the band's single permanent member. In it's present incarnation, Reznor is accompanied by drummer Josh Freese, guitarist Robin Finck, and keyboardist Alessandro Cortini. Similar to people's perceptions of a mad scientist Reznor is very much like one, always experimenting with sounds and on the cutting edge of avant-music so deeply bizarre. In Reznor's case, he thinks of innovative ways to change industrial rock and avant-electronica. The music is creepy and spooky but once you understand where Reznor is coming from by applying the character of a mad scientist to him, the music starts to become a piece of enlightenment and a lot less frightening. // 7


- Susan Frances aka sweetpeasuzie (c) 2008

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overall: 8.7
The Slip Reviewed by: Mask_Of_Sanity, on may 15, 2008
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Trent Reznor never ceases to surprise, as Nine Inch Nails released "The Slip", an album that came out of the blue (much like Ghosts I-IV) and was released free of charge (as Reznor's treat to say "thank you" to the fanbase). One can safely assume that a free album may very well end up being not that great, but that is where The Slip surprises us. It is no Pretty Hate Machine or The Downward Spiral, but it is an album that I personally cannot believe was free. The album starts off with 999, 999 (which at first glance of the album track list, can be assumed it is an intro track to the second song), which creates an illusion that The Slip may very well be an all instrumental album like the Ghosts albums were. But nope. In comes in 1'000'000, and what do you know? Lyrics and vocals! The majority of the album puts out the sound Nine Inch Nails is known for: Distorted, chaotic, dark industrial obsidian. A few of the tracks give off a "With Teeth" feel, while some give off a "Year Zero" presence, and some have their own feel. Nonetheless, The Slip, like every other Nine Inch Nails record, has it's own sound that can be easily pin pointed by any NIN fan. The hooks are all there, which was quite expected, and some songs (Letting You, Lights In The Sky, Echoplex) I find myself listening to on repeat numerous times. Although none of the tracks are "boring", I find that some tracks, although being good, tend to lag. As their own song, they are great. But while listening to the CD as a whole, the lag tends to slow down the 10 track 40 minute album. For a free album, the sound is anything but expected. In fact, this album should not be judged by the fact that it was distributed freely, as it fits in nicely in the modern Nine Inch Nails libary as an album that is good enough to grow into and to truly appreciate. // 8

Lyrics: Trent's still got his writing capabilities, so that's all well and good. The lyrics are still powerful and deep, which Trent is known for. The balance between instrumentals and sung tracks is great, and there isn't too many of either or. Trent is never afraid to allow people into the deep black hole of his life and of society. // 9

Overall Impression: This album, being a free one, makes me feel honestly very guilty. It's as if I were one of those people in those cheesy furniture adverts: I honestly feel that I have stolen something really beautiful. But no, I haven't. It was a kind gesture from one of the greatest minds in modern music. Now that Trent's sober, he has become extremely prolific, and none of his albums thus far have shown any sign of deterioration in any area. Stand out tracks Letting You, Echoplex, Lights In The Sky, and The Four Of Us Are Dying remind Nine Inch Nails fans of how beautiful, yet destructive, human nature can be, and like almost all of the other Halos, the listener can trully connect with Trent with a spiritual bonding. It can't really be stolen or lost, but if I lost it on my harddrive (or whatever), why the hell wouldn't I get it again? A)It's free, and B)It's worth it. // 9

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overall: 9.3
The Slip Reviewed by: HWFG1, on january 14, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Nine Inch Nails' second independent release, The Slip, came as a surprise to the fans, completely free-of-charge (unless you felt the need to buy the limited edition CD/DVD combo with live rehearsal footage that came out in July), and without any advertising, other than a message from Trent Reznor on nin.com simply stating "Two weeks", much in the way of Ghosts I-IV, NIN's first independent release. Albeit free, The Slip doesn't lack in quality music. The 10 tracks are filled with keyboard, guitar, drums, bass, vocals, and the other weird instruments that the band has become known for using. "999, 999" is an instrumental, ambient track, that segues perfectly into the drums of "1, 000, 000". "Letting You" opens with an energetic drum beat, which is soon accompanied by guitar and bass, as well as Reznor's vocals, and is one of the more energetic tracks on the album. "Discipline" opens with a simple drum beat, which is soon joined with a catchy guitar riff and some reverberating bass, along with Trent's voice. Piano enters in the second verse, and carries on throughout the rest of the song. "Head Down" is one of the more aggressive songs, with hard-driven verses and softer choruses. "Lights in the Sky" is a quiet, almost interlude-esque track, consisting of only piano and Reznor singing for most of the song, and leads into "Corona Radiata", the longest song on the album. It is more reminiscent of his work on The Fragile or The Downward Spiral, with an ambient, 4.5 minute-long intro, at the end of which, drums fade in, and different sounds creep their way into the end of the song. "The Four of Us are Dying" opens with an effect-driven drum-beat, and is soon joined by bass, and guitar manipulated with more effects. It is the third instrumental track on the album (After "999, 999", and "Corona Radiata", and leads into the album closer, "Demon Seed", which features distorted bass, and an upbeat drum beat. // 10

Lyrics: This record features a departure from the most recent records in terms of lyrics. The Slip delves into personal matters once again, particularly in "Lights in the Sky", and "Head Down". Trent hasn't lost his ability to write lyrics people can relate to, or lyrics that force people to think, and, he most certainly hasn't lost his ability to sing. While most of the tracks are mellow, "Letting You" and "Head Down" show that he can still belt it out when needed. // 9

Overall Impression: The Slip is a great album, especially for the price (*cough*free*cough*). The songs flow really well, and aren't repetitive, other than the fact that all of the non-instrumental tracks begin with some variation of drums, then guitar, then bass. It is, in my opinion, the best album NIN has put out since The Fragile (not to say With Teeth, Year Zero, and Ghosts I-IV were bad, mind you). // 9

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overall: 9.3
The Slip Reviewed by: Gr0tevis, on may 27, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Nine inch nails 8th studio album (including Broken and excluding the remix albums) was released on the 5th of May, 2008. The sound is good, having downloaded the.Flac version of the album I was not disappointed. I'd already downloaded Discipline and listened to Echoplex but was not very excited by those tracks in their single formats. 999, 999 is a throbbing instrumental opener which leads into 1, 000, 000 which has a slightly "Done before" feeling for myself. Letting You is decent but Discipline is the first seriously good track on the album, followed by Echoplex and Head Down, the former two tracks sounding far better in the album format, and the latter being one of the highlights of this album. Lights in the Sky is a ballad easily on par with Johnny Cash's version of Hurt, The Day The World Went Away and Ghosts 34/Zero-Sum. quite possibly the best song on the entire album, simply piano and Reznor's voice. Corona Radiata is a 7 and a half minute instrumental song which is very good to say the least, excellent soundscaping. The Four of us are Dying is another instrumental which paints a bleak if beautiful picture of a wasteland, Demon Seed (which is the last track) is simply a let down for me, dwarfed by the preceding tracks, a long(er) song should have finished the album. // 9

Lyrics: The "crooning" on Lights in the sky is great, but Demon Seed seems slightly forced, those lyrics could easily have been supplemented. The is also drifting more to the instrumental side of things it seems, which is rather good but may have more reasons rather than simply being easier (you cannot always write about Angst, eh Limp Bizkit? ) Mr. Reznor is on top singing form these days, sounding rested after Ghosts I-IV. // 9

Overall Impression: This album manages to sound like Nine Inch Nails but without copying any of their former work. For fans of The Broken EP, The Fragile and Year Zero particularly in my opinion. Best tracks are simply Head Down, Lights In The Sky and Corona Radiata. Worst track is 1, 000, 000, while not being bad, (here he goes again) is not on par with the rest of the album. Still very well deserved of a 10 in my opinion, Will it stand tall with Pretty Hate Machine, Year Zero and The Fragile in the years to come? Only time will tell, but for me, this album is on course to be on repeat in my stereo for many years. // 10

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overall: 5
The Slip Reviewed by: Muse=Rock, on may 28, 2008
0 of 9 people found this review helpful

Sound: I downloaded The Slip off the NIN website for free and it definitely sounded like a free album. The first few songs on the album were okay such as 1, 000, 000 and discipline. But halfway through the album went completely down hill because of effects being overused and songs becoming boring. // 4

Lyrics: The lyrics were the only really good part of this album. I have not listened to much NIN before this album but I can tell that their Trent Reznor is a half decent vocalist. Sometimes the lyrics are repetitive but usually they are good. The song with the best lyrics would probably have to be discipline. // 7

Overall Impression: This album was not great compared to other albums around but because it's for free you Can't really complain about it. Maybe I just need to listen to it more for it to grow on me but I highly doubt that will happen. The vocals are good as well as some of the drumming except for when a dance or hip hop type drum kit is used. But the overuse of effects is what puts me off with this album. If It got removed from my computer I don't think I would bother downloading it again. // 4

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