Trent Reznor is much more productive off drugs. Since releasing the 2 disc epic The Fragile in 1999, Nine Inch Nails have put out three full lengths, a remix album, and double disc instrumental album. In the span of the last two years, three of these projects have come out. 2008 sees the release of Ghosts I-IV and The Slip.
The Slip, which is available ("legally") free to download from the band's website, was recorded in only three weeks and is being released through Reznor's new label The Null Corporation after he recently swore off all ties to any major record label.
The Slip is a return to the darker, more structured form of albums like The Fragile and With Teeth. Unlike Year Zero which was largely constructed of laptop improvisational noise, The Slip combines the poppier aspects of With Teeth with the harder industrial mindfucks and softer marches towards madness of previous Nails albums.
The first half of the album is catchy nihilistic industrial dance, angry anarchist digital hardcore, and poppy 80s electronic post-punk, much in the vein of With Teeth or moments of Year Zero.
The second half of the album drifts deep into a haunting trance, with a soft piano ballad ("Lights In The Sky") melting into a dark ambient landscape ("Corona Radiatata"), followed by a moody trip hop murmer ("The Four Of Us Are Dying"), and disintegrating into a build up of restrained terror.
This isn't as thematic or collective as previous albums. A good collection of emotions. Less dancy than the last few albums have been, less political, and not nearly as noisy as Year Zero.
Download the album here!