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With Teeth

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The five-plus years in the making follow-up to 1999’s double-disc The Fragile, With Teeth begins with a somber piano, a sweet falsetto, and eventually a harmonized chorus singing the opening title “All the Love in the World” in the most conventional of tones. Has Trent Reznor, one of industrial music’s leading stars, gone soft? Well, sorta. Considering the onslaught of tuneless, abrasive hard rock that’s followed in the wake of his most violent and definitive statement, 1994’s The Downward Spiral, his latest compositions can only sound tame by comparison. That’s not to say that Reznor’s coo-ing sweet nothings. He jacks up the intensity with the second track “You Know What You Are?” and continues down a path of not-exactly passive aggression for the rest. “Love Is Not Enough” churns with urgency, downcast Sabbath riffs, and distressed vocals. The title track is programmed to electronica perfection, the tension percolating under the bass-synths as Reznor grows increasingly heated. The man knows how to sport a mood.

Customer Reviews

With Teeth, angst all grown up… sort of.

Trent Reznor is back with another trip through his psyche in With Teeth, and this time, it’s a rock and roll trip. Six years after the release of his last studio album, The Fragile Trent brings us an album that at face value has a alt-rock sound, yet has all the underpinnings of a true Nine Inch Nails release. The album is subtly complex full of the layering fans would expect from a follow up to Downward Spiral and The Fragile, but may not be immediately aware of them as they blend in so naturally with the composition. With Teeth separates itself from its predecessors with high energy tracks throughout the album, with a notable exception of the quiet Right Where It Belongs. Driving this energy is the rock record finish on this album of trashy guitars and driving percussion, a majority of the live percussion done by Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters. The emotion of the album shows in Trents signature vocals and a matured version of angst and anger in the lyrics and music. Longtime fans may miss the abundance of harsh synthesizers and wildly distorted guitar found in previous albums. With Teeth is rife with the sound of rock clichés spun through the industrial machine that is Nine Inch Nails. The first single from the album “The Hand That Feeds” is commercial rock so riddled with clichéd questions and just as if not more compelling then Closer was when it was released. Edges of punk rock come out in Getting Smaller, and Only has a opening and a synth line that could have come straight out of an 80’s new wave hit. Sunspots stands out sounding like something that R.E.M. might have done coming out of a week-long drug bender. Something that surprised me so much to find on a Nine Inch Nails album that I had to replay the track several times, Right Where It Belongs has a definite country western bend to it and could have been this albums Hurt given a different treatment. With multiple plays I am positive any listener will be able to draw lines connecting the sounds of With Teeth to all corners of the rock genre. I applaud Trent and the marketing at Nothing Records for providing everything this or any album needs for the art that is the entire package to survive in the digital age. Neither physical format of the album comes with much more liner notes than a track listing and a web link to find all the information at a page for the album on including downloadable PDF versions to print and save. This gives downloaders and record collectors almost even footing of having the complete package. Macintosh users, Trent and Nothing Records has provided a downloadable Garageband project file of The Hand That Feeds exported from the pro audio applications used in programming the track. This gives many fans a chance to make a album quality mix of their own.

iPod Garage reviews With Teeth by Nine Inch Nails

One of my fondest late teen concert memories has to be this artist. Upon seeing Trent Reznor for the first time in the mid 80’s, I was hooked upon his sound, stage show, and of course the lyrics. Since that time, he has continually and magically combined machine and instrument to become the forerunner of the industrial rock genre. In the early years it was all about the grinding electro synths and his distinctive vocals that could pierce and bring upon emotions that one could never imagine. Being this is now his nineteenth album, his sound has now evolved and been brought to the masses in a musical monster packed cd download from the iTunes Music Store catalog. In this day and age, music should be all about progression. This album can define that, and defiantly be heard. The album itself starts off with a stormer of a rock ballad dully named ‘All the Love In the World’. Much like the majority of his compositions the classically trained pianist includes sweet melodies combined with the raw power and sound of today’s hardest rock sounds and riffs. Touted as one of the defining sound engineers of the new age rock genre, the brilliance in production can solely be found in the first radio single release ‘The Hand That Feeds.’ A couple of tracks down from there brings us to the next radio release ‘Every Day Is Exactly The Same.’ Stunning composition, melody and lyrics, cement this track in your mind, only to be followed by the title track, ‘With Teeth.’ From here, Trent takes you on a emotional and musically inspired rollercoaster that can only invoke passion and desire while grooving to an awe inspiring beat. From ‘Only’ you can expect a luscious back beat and groove, enough to make you shake your rump and bellow out in a chorus. Busting into ‘Getting Smaller,’ my first listen invoked visions of early Henry Rollins, only to be revised and rewritten back to the old school Trent sounds with ‘The Line Begins to Blur,’ ‘Beside You in Time’ and ending with ‘Right Where it Belongs.’ All and all, this has got to be one of Trent Reznor’s greatest albums. Along with producer Alan Moulder, (twice Grammy-nominated producer/engineer behind moody alternative music masterpieces from artists like The Jesus & Mary Chain (JAMC) and My Bloody Valentine, to The Smashing Pumpkins), this album is meant to be listened to from front to back. Creating an interweaving storyline filled with beats, riffs and emotions that will surely drive you to hit repeat. On top of all this hype, Trent has once again pushed the boundaries, and has offered the public a groundbreaking extra. For the first time in music history Trent has released several tracks, (‘Only’ and ‘The Hand That Feeds’) in a multi track GarageBand format available for remixing. Thus, once again, putting him and his productions to the forefront of the electro industrial rock genre.

Forgive me, but...

First of all: This is a GOOD album. However, it is not GREAT. I am sorry, but when I play The Downward Spiral, Pretty Hate Machine, and The Fragile, and then I play With Teeth... it just doesn't come anywhere close to Reznor's earlier albums. It lacks the infinite layers of sound that make it so compelling to listen to The Downward Spiral for the -nth time. It doesn't have the vastness and epic feeling that characterized The Fragile. There is no feeling of, "This guy is a freaking GENIUS" that you get when you first pick up Pretty Hate Machine. At first, With Teeth sounds great. You're hooked on songs like "You Know What You Are?" and "Every Day Is Exactly the Same". But then you pull out The Downward Spiral for some reminiscing, and you wonder why you were listening to With Teeth in the first place. Reznor can do better.


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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