Nine Inch Nails
Trent Reznor is “less a musical genius than a marketing genius,” said James Hannaham in Salon.com. After splitting with his label, Interscope, last year, the frontman of Nine Inch Nails first released his new album for free online, telling fans, “This one’s on me.” Reznor even issued The Slip under a Creative Commons license, which allows listeners to remix songs as they wish. He seems to approach “the promotion of his music with the sensibility and instincts of a fine artist,” but unfortunately doesn’t use the same skills when actually writing and recording. The Slip is “pretty generic NIN fare”: predictably dark lyrics and “relatively unexciting breakbeats, distorted guitar chuffing, and fuzzed-out vocals.” Reznor is just playing to his strengths, said Stephen Erlewine in All Music Guide. Rather than “punishingly pushing himself forward,” he sticks to the wrenching laments he does best. That makes The Slip the tightest, “most user-friendly NIN album ever.” Though Reznor considers himself a “digital-distribution renegade,” as a musician he’s a sort of “classicist,” said Jody Rosen in Rolling Stone. He prefers to keep his music as is—and The Slip will keep those who “like their music loud and fierce” happily miserable.