Sound — 10
If you've ever listened to NIN before, then you probably understand Trent Reznor's brainchild of music. It has a sound all it's own, with electronic instruments being the main focus. On Year Zero, this hasn't changed, but only gotten better. Trent has managed to progress far beyond any expectations he has been pinned to. It's a heavy album, even when the mood is quiet. Every song sounds as it should, with the musical composition riding parallel to the lyrics all the way.
Lyrics — 9
Trent has a way with words, simply put. However on Year Zero, he really manages to get his point across. The record is almost all politically driven, however it is not biased. The words simply point out the direction of the world as we know it. The lyrics can seem a bit repetitive in meaning at sometimes, but I think the only reason he re-emphasizes his point so much is that in each and every song, he has a message to get across, and that seems to be the underlying theme on this record: A message.
Overall Impression — 10
To compare Trent Reznor and NIN to anyone other than themselves would simply be pointless. So, in relation to previous NIN albums, I would not call Year Zero better, but rather a genius progression of NIN's place in the world of music. It is safe to say that I see no faults in this record; the musicality and mood are perfect, and Trent's overall message is one certainly worth listening to. If someone stole this CD from me, I would probably let the keep it, so that they could also be introduced to the abstract genius of this music, and then I would purchase a new copy for myself.