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Hesitation Marks (Deluxe Version)

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Although Nine Inch Nails’ eighth album casts a similar spell as the band’s most famous work—heavy mechanical textures, juxtapositions of warm lyricism and industrial austerity—Trent Reznor’s growth as a songwriter, arranger, and producer is evident in every detail of Hesitation Marks. Tracks like “The Eater of Dreams,” “I Would for You,” and "Find My Way" are rock songs with the complex architectural touch of a masterful composer (fitting, since Reznor won a GRAMMY® for his score to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). The album’s huge sonic range is evident in its roster of guests, which includes Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham and King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew. But the most impressive element of Hesitation Marks is Reznor's mature, confident songwriting, which has adopted a seasoned perspective without losing any of its bite.

Customer Reviews

Nothing Can Stop Him Now

At first listen which was the unofficial radio ripped stream I was more eh, than excited. But like every NIN song there is more under the layers than what is just on the surface. To truly appreciate what you are about to or are listening to you must dig deeper and deeper down until you get to the core of the song/album. There are many layers to uncover and more appear with every new listen, from the guitar riffs by Adrian Belew and the synth by Alessandro Cortini, and of course Trent Reznor's voice screaming of past trials with new experiences that he can not stay away from NIN and that no matter how hard he tries, "Nothing can stop him now, not even himself". "Came Back Haunted" is the first single being released from the 8th studio album "Hesitation Marks" by NIN.


Having listened to both of the new singles and now the entire album I can honestly say I am really disappointed. This album has no soul it feels like a continuation of "the Slip" which was a very underwhelming release for NIN. Trent needs to go back to what made him great Wish, Broken, Pretty Hate Machine, Downward Spiral. The only part of this release that is even remotely interesting is towards the end of the album.

Anyone that grew up with NIN through the 80's and 90's knows this is terrible in comparison to earlier works. It is something I would expect on a Sophmore or Junior release not someone that is established. This release is completely devoid of Trent's signature edginess and instead replaced by minimalistic bleeps, chirps and other rather annoying repetitive old school analog sounds. I honestly feel like I am listening to Glitch instead of a band that was one of the founders of industrial music and brought industrial to the mainstream before there was any label to apply to the music. This release is an insult to Trents great work and brillance throughout the years.

For those that will bash me and say "do you want the guy depressed etc.?" This isnt about that, it is about culminating years of a certain sound to suddenly dumb it down and minimalize its layers to a Glitch style. Its like Aerosmith suddenly sounding like Metallica, it doesn't work. Each band has a signature sound once they are established that sound is what establishes them and what fans come to expect. In the realm of industrial their is a lot of room to move and grow. This unfortunately was a move in the wrong direction.

A More Mature Piece

This album is a far cry from the days of Broken and The Downward Spiral but you can still feel remnants of them bleeding through in tracks like "Satellite" and "Various Methods of Escape". The first thing the listener will notice on this album has a more rigid and electronic percussion section. The days of hard rock, acoustic drum driven, thrashing Nine Inch Nails seem to be done. In it's place are tracks with more complex textures and and a much more minimal approach.

1 - The Eater of Dreams - An excellent into piece that sets the same kind of brooding and visceral tone that Pinion introduced in broken. Overall the track sets the diversified tone of the resulting album.

2 - Copy of a - This track is a steady stomp that breaks down into a chorus reminiscent of Ringfinger and some of the Sin remixes. The guitars in this track are a very interesting textural flavor that brings back tastes of Complication from The Fragile.

3 - Came Back Haunted - The first single that seems to be flavored more like some of the later tracks off "Year Zero" like "The Warning" or "The Great Destroyer". It follows a similar vibe as "Copy of a" while building upon the layer thickness that the aforementioned started. Tastes of "Pretty Hate Machine" barely drip through.

4 - Find My Way - This is a deep track with Trent having the same vocal pizzaz as a young Greg Dulli. The vocals seem beautifully atonal at times which really adds to the tracks unsettling nature. The droning guitars almost emulate the voices of hell screaming in agony. A truly haunting track.

5 - All Time Low - Mostly clean toned but delayed guitars are heavily featured on this Prince-like funk thump. The track has a perfect visceral yet slimy feel that lets you hear the animosity through the falsetto vocal chorus. Trent's tongue is so far in his cheek, you can hear it bleed.

6 - Disappointed - I see this track as a spiritual continuation of "Find My Way". The verse vocals are delivered very loose and filtered while ukeleles and guitars pluck and drone in the background. I can really hear the "Ghosts" album in this track.

7 - Everything - This controversial track among fans is easily one of the most misunderstood of Trent's career. With a feel that mimics The Cure, the track is driven by a flamboyant guitar riff that flows up and down the major scale. The difference between the chorus and the verse should indicate how much this song is about mixed feelings and bittersweet success.

8 - Satellite - When this track started, I knew I was going to love it. Just like "Find My Way" and "Disappointed" are spiritual brethren, I feel like this track is very closely related to "All Time Low". This funk/dance sound really works well for Reznor and he plays it up nicely with a huge guitar drone solo and various synths reminiscent of those found in "The Fragile" and "Year Zero".

9 - Various Methods of Escape - This is easily my favorite track on the album. A click based glitch drum kit drives what sounds like pitch bent wind chimes and calliope samples played at different speeds and octaves. If you aren't hearing this, listen to the verses VERY closely. They are buried in the mix. The chorus has a raw and almost grungy feel much like the track "The Fragile" did. The sorrow over his introverted lifestyle comes to light here.

10 - Running - The Reznor whisper is back and sounds just as haunting as ever. More ukes and plucked strings drive a very active kick drum dotted with passages of guitar noise that reminds me of a Josh Homme piece played on a failing computer.

11 - I Would For You - Fans of the slithering crawl found in "Reptile" may feel at home on this track. The verse is cut razor sharp by a electronic hi hat and industrial hydraulic sounding synths that give the track a familiar ebb and flow. The chorus continues with an all out barrage of vocal symphony and chainsaw guitar solos which conjure memories of the first time I heard "We're In This Together".

12 - In Two - Here is more of the Nine Inch Nails we are used to hearing with some vocal effects that we haven't heard from Reznor before. As I listen to this track again and again, I may have to revise my favorite track statement made before. This is The Downward Spiral V2.0 and Trent really wants you to know it. Wonderful blend of pure noise and melodic vocal harmonies. Easily the most dynamic track on the album.

13 - While I'm Still Here - A brass section finishes this track with a sonic hodgepodge that brings back feelings of "Capital G" and the reed blowing intro to "Eraser". Brooding textures and self-loathing lyrics from the man who does it best. I would swear Trent is channeling John Cage with the "prepared piano" samples found on this track. Really great song for feelings of well repressed rage and abandonment.

14 - Black Noise - A direct continuation of the percussion found in the previous track, this orgasm of sound grows and shifts with guitar feedback and preamp noise until suddenly… Nothing. A fitting end to an album that demands a sequel.

I eagerly await the next offering from Trent Reznor. Until then, this may be the best album I have heard from Nine Inch Nails since 1999's 'The Fragile'.


Formed: 1989 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Nine Inch Nails were the most popular industrial group ever and were largely responsible for bringing the music to a mass audience. It isn't really accurate to call NIN a group; the only official member is singer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, who always remained solely responsible for NIN's musical direction (he was, however, supported in concert by a regular backing band). Unlike the vast majority of industrial artists, Reznor wrote melodic, traditionally structured songs where lyrics...
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Hesitation Marks (Deluxe Version), Nine Inch Nails
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