Just a mere two months after the debut of Ghosts I-IV, Nine Inch Nails releases yet another album. This 10-track album, entitled The Slip, was made available for free digital download, first thing this morning (May 5, 2008) with a physical CD and vinyl release come July. A blurb on the NIN homepage reads, “Click HERE to get the new full-length nine inch nails record: the slip”, followed by a statement by Reznor that reads, “(thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years – this one’s on me)”. Now that’s just generous.
The Slip severs the novelty sound of Ghosts I-IV, and provides us yet another precise branch in the evolution of NIN. Aside from the method in which the latest two albums were licensed (creative commons) and made available to the people (digital download via NIN’s website), there do not appear to be many other commonalities between them. There are hints of Ghosts on The Slip, but it is undeniably more a “brother” album to Year Zero, which makes Ghosts I-IV none other than, the “redheaded stepchild” of the bunch. It’s not that I didn’t like Ghosts (see my review), I actually loved it, but those of you who have given it a listen know why I would make this comparison.
The Slip, although not their best, is definitely another triumph for Reznor. It’s full of the usual wicked, banging guitar riffs, synths, and upbeat drumming. “Discipline” and “Echoplex”, which were both released prior to the album, are subsequently two of the more uplifting songs on the album, as well as two of my favorites. One must have track is “Lights in the Sky”, which is a dark and depressing, stripped down track, consisting only of Reznor’s vocals, a piano and little else. It is haunting and demands immediate, multiple listens. Anyone’s obsession with instrumental NIN will also be satisfied here with three out of the ten tracks being just that.
I confess that I was prepared to pay the 10 bucks, had NIN not been generous enough to play Santa Claus with this album. Bestowing it upon us, at no cost, once again reinforces their complete and absolute respect for their fans. When the next album is set to release, I will be in the front lines, waiting to pay whatever price (within reason) is asked, and return the favor.
Although, I could get used to this free thing.