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.