The Slip review by Nine Inch Nails

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  • Released: May 5, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (214 votes)
Nine Inch Nails: The Slip
4

Sound — 8
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.

Lyrics — 9
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.

Overall Impression — 9
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.

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Fux51[FZK]
    horazonblade wrote: It being free doesn't mean people should add points to their rating of the album, just because the band hand the balls to do it... Well giving a middle finger to a label does take balls, but giving it away after uncountable hours of man power, physical investment, equipment purchasing, server running and processing... giving it away for free doesn't require balls, it requires a huge self sacrafice for a statement, considerably a stupid move if you really think about it. Don't confuse that with balls.
    Trent has a shitload of cash, I'm sure. So it has nothing to do with either. But self-sacrifice, regardless of what you deem smart or not, does take a certain amount of balls. I believe this is not the case. Trent just wants to share his music for the **** of it. Now thats a true musician. As for the UG team review, I wouldn't consider NIN avant-electronica until Year Zero. That shit is just strange and unpredictible. Idk about The Slip, as I haven't heard it, but it sounds intriguing.
    McFoss
    Trent's been more productive since he's been sober. But the music's not as good. Odd trade-off.
    littleleo88
    jahyarain wrote: sometimes people say (or type) things that make me want the human race 2 no longer exist. this is one of those times. please, sir/ma'am, go back and read what u wrote, then explain 2 me what u believe music is.
    i sir, understand music to be able to be put to a beat or rhythm, something i can listen to and enjoy - i.e. other, better NIN albums and such. if you can listen to 7 minutes of nothing, with a little fuzziness here and there, AND enjoy it, then fine - good luck with that. but i really dont see what the hell is so good about a track of silence (which i might add, you'd normally pay a fair sum for in the currency of your choice), that i had to turn up to full volume on my PC to even hear that there was actually something coming out of my speakers.
    politicsapocaly
    If you like NIN you may be interested in the album I just finished last month. It is also available free. Licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licence. This licence lets you use this music for commercial products or make remixes or other derivative works, so long as you give credit to the original artists. Politics Apocalypse is political and subversive post-industrial rock with an interesting mix of classical instruments, guitars, electronic beats, and a small dash of aussie hip-hop. You can download the whole 11 track album at no cost at our website. http://www.politicsapocalypse.com We are also doing a name your own price CD (starting at cost price). I dont mean to spam but I am trying to get the word out to those who may be interested. BTW I love The Slip, great album. Promotion is going great with 2800+ album downloads since last month. If anyone feels inclined you can let other people here know what you think of it or drop us a line by email or the guestbook. Cheers, Cliffe.
    TheEmoStrangler
    to me it sounded thrown together, kinda like Trent wasn't even trying anymore. i am a big NiN fan and this album was a huge let down, no wonder it was free. even the Singer/songwriter/industrial rock shaman Trent Reznor couldn't bring himself to charge for this piece of crap 2/10 waste of time downloading.
    Suav Nitebeest
    tim western wrote: I can't help but feel NIN are incredibly over rated, i'm constantly reading things about Trent's 'musical genious' etc. and i really like 'Right Where It Belongs' so i went out and bought With Teeth and to be honest i just didn't really see any creative flares there really. Can anyone suggest where it's good to start with them, or are they a bit of a cult thing?
    With Teeth was more of a song-based album, more mainstream I guess. Listen to klynch.
    tbarrettl
    Beathan83 wrote: Poor review... You do nothing but praise Trent, not a single word against the album... 6.7? That's like a teacher saying "Oh, you wrote a fantastic essay! D+!"
    Unfortunately that happens though I might be mistaken though to a comment above I might recall Trent uses silence strategically in songs which is done well by the way.
    fhqwgads
    sadindian88 wrote: How can you obtain "Ghost I-IV" and "The Slip" CD's?
    I saw ghosts at a record store. Check your local HMV or musicworld. AS for the Slip, I'm sure it will follow suit.
    jahyarain
    littleleo88 wrote: klynch wrote: serjiscoolz wrote: But that's nothing but silence! the song is all about the details, listen to it again closely and turn it up. when i did that i fell in love with the song. its one of my favs as well!! yeah but thats just it isnt it - a whole bunch of silence with a little bit of "detailed noise" here and there isnt a song is it. its just a load of silence with a little bit of, very quiet, noise!
    sometimes people say (or type) things that make me want the human race 2 no longer exist. this is one of those times. please, sir/ma'am, go back and read what u wrote, then explain 2 me what u believe music is.
    SGslinger wrote: U call this crap music? I did the free download and was like WTF is this crap? I guess they must be an acquired taste.
    ac/dc much? it's called musical taste. check your grocer's freezer section.
    mercurymay
    The real art in this album is how each song has its own artwork... take a minute to look at it. really minimalist but quite descriptive of each song. I really liked this album, but it wasn't at the standard of "The Downward Spiral" or "Year Zero". I have yet to hear Ghosts I-IV, and I'm sure it won't disappoint. UP THE NAILS!
    Broken_Drum
    SGslinger wrote: U call this crap music? I did the free download and was like WTF is this crap? I guess they must be an acquired taste.
    How would it not be classified as music? Music is organised sound and The Slip is just that.
    guido25
    This is a very poor album....I can see why it was free via he internet
    klynch
    tim western wrote: I can't help but feel NIN are incredibly over rated, i'm constantly reading things about Trent's 'musical genious' etc. and i really like 'Right Where It Belongs' so i went out and bought With Teeth and to be honest i just didn't really see any creative flares there really. Can anyone suggest where it's good to start with them, or are they a bit of a cult thing?
    listen to the fragile, one of the best albums of all time in my opinion. The downward spiral is amazing. pretty hate machine is good but it sounds a little dated but those songs are awesome live. but yeah listen to the fragile and the downward spiral and you'll love NIN.
    C1osur3
    I believe the rating was a bit harsh, but that was a decent review of the album.
    tim western
    I can't help but feel NIN are incredibly over rated, i'm constantly reading things about Trent's 'musical genious' etc. and i really like 'Right Where It Belongs' so i went out and bought With Teeth and to be honest i just didn't really see any creative flares there really. Can anyone suggest where it's good to start with them, or are they a bit of a cult thing?
    kornuts
    Comparing Trent to Kravitz...are you kidding me? Or comparing NIN to any other musicians for that matter, ridiculous.
    SGslinger
    U call this crap music? I did the free download and was like WTF is this crap? I guess they must be an acquired taste.
    Broken_Drum
    littleleo88 wrote: yeah but thats just it isnt it - a whole bunch of silence with a little bit of "detailed noise" here and there isnt a song is it. its just a load of silence with a little bit of, very quiet, noise!
    I'm sorry that you actually have to pay attention to the song while listening to it, I know that's an awful lot of hard work on your behalf. Seriously all music is made up of silence and noise, that was a very weak point you made.
    Top Cat
    To me, this album was (musically, not lyrically) somewhere in between Year Zero and Ghosts 1. Also, one of my mates (therefore not necessarily a credible source) reckons NIN are releasing 9 (yes, nine) free albums this year. Can anyone confirm/deny this?
    Gee-Tar1
    Couldn't get into it at first but all of the sudden im digging mostly every song.