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Nine Inch Nails

When a long-awaited album is released, and its best parts are the session drummer and new bass player, that is not good.

Sadly enough, this is the case for With Teeth, the first Nine Inch Nails album in more than five years.

It appears that iconic frontman Trent Reznor has either lost touch with his dark side, or lost interest in producing more memorable music.

Representing the evolution of NIN's sound, "All the Love in the World" opens With Teeth. The track continuously switches its musical presentation between industrial drum beats, a slow, depressing bass line and piano orchestration.

"No one's heard a single word I said / They don't sound as good outside my head," cries Reznor in his signature whisper-vocal approach.

Whether personal or trying to impress (or depress) his goth following, many of Reznor's lyrics seem to follow into categories of jealousy and self-pity. For example, Reznor rants, "I think I used to have a purpose / And then again that might have been a dream," on "Every Day Is Exactly the Same."

Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl once again steals the show as the studio drummer for yet another band.

Earning a paycheck during the recent A Perfect Circle hiatus, bassist Jeordie White has managed to record some of his greatest material. White's distorted and sulking basslines explode through the speakers on songs like "You Know Who You Are?" and "The Line Begins to Blur."

Reznor has now managed to seal NIN's fate to the following: five-year layoff, crappy album, tour, repeat. Such a pity.

More by Jon Hobson

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