Orion’s reviews Nine Inch Nails
December 7, 2007
Earlier this year Trent Reznor released "Year Zero," his political-statement CD. It was a success. Not only was the vision of it timely and terrifying, it also happened to be one of his best albums. So it should come as no surprise that there is more related material coming out. The interesting thing is it’s in the form of a remix album called "Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D."
This could be interpreted as a not-so-nice farewell to the record labels. Reznor has stated this will be his last major label album; he will now release his music digitally.
The title is a nod to the viral campaign that surrounded the release of "Year Zero." Before that album was released, memory cards were left at Nine Inch Nails concerts that needed to be deciphered to discover that they contained entire tracks from the album. In a similar move, this album is separated into two discs.
The first disc is a straight-forward music disc with all the remix songs on it, and the second is a data disc with all the hard copies of the album "Year Zero" — which essentially means you can now legally remix that album for free and share your mixes with other Nine Inch Nails fans on the official band Web site. One of the better remixes on this album is actually done by a fan. It’s a very unique and original idea.
Now to the actual songs. The majority of the songs on "Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D." are very good, which can be attributed to the talent of the artists featured here — groups such as Saul Williams, the Faint, Bill Laswell, Ladytron, Stephen Morris and the Kronos Quartet. The majority of the artists are from the electronica genre and their mixes are pretty straight forward. The Faint make "Meet Your Master" into a catchy dance number and Bill Laswell takes "Vessel" and turns it into a heavy experimental piece.
The most exciting songs here are the ones that are contributed by the artists who aren’t in the electronic genre. The intro is by Saul Williams who transforms the industrial grind into a fierce-free form rap. The biggest departure, and also the best song on the whole disc is by the Kronos Quartet, the classically trained string quartet. The song is a welcome beautiful moment nestled amongst the anger and noise that typifies most Nine Inch Nails albums. So there is a pretty diverse collection of songs on "Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D" which elevates it above the usual remix album.