With Teeth

Nine Inch Nails

I Nothing, 2005

REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/31/2006

Nine Inch Nails, a.k.a. Trent Reznor, sure takes his time making an album. He has averaged about five years between releases over his career. You can hear it in his work though; the production is pristine and meticulously crafted. His latest release my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 With Teeth is no exception. I found myself wishing that he had put more energy into the creative factors rather than the twiddling of knobs and sliders in the studio.

I used to await a new NIN album with anticipation of what he would come up with next. Each of his first four albums topped the previous release with originality and new sonic dimensions to explore. Those first few albums were liked caged beasts that had been starved and taunted to the point of hysteria, and when you played them, the beast was released, springing forth in a violent rage of beautiful noise and chaos. With Teeth finds that beast a bit weary and beaten down. I missed the energy and power of albums like Broken and The Downward Spiral. It's as if Reznor's nihilistic angst has been worn down to a shadow of its former glory.

There are few good songs. "The Line Begins To Blur" shows some of that old negative energy that fueled his earlier work. "You Know What You Are" and "The Hand That Feeds" sound like throwbacks to the old days, but that's one of the problems. They come off like tracks that belonged on Broken but didn't have the juice to keep up with the other songs from that era. Now it sounds like he's just reworking his older material.

I was really disappointed overall with this disc. With Teeth is sadly lacking in teeth. As much as I wanted to embrace it, the songs don't even come close to Reznor's best work. He essentially shoved the genre of Industrial Metal down our throats and we swallowed it whole and embraced his originality and the power of his music. Now he seems to be stuck in a creative loop that just isn't progressing.

Rating: C

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