The Last Word: Nine Inch Nails’ “Zero” Impact

yearzerocover.jpgEvery week, we round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Today’s entry is Nine Inch Nails’ just-released Year Zero:

- “Even his use of electronics has shifted to a new level: ‘Vessel’ evokes nothing so much as a sentient, schizophrenic computer having a nervous breakdown. Is the truth in here? Dunno, but Reznor’s claim that ‘I got my violence in high def ultra-realism’ sounds like gospel to us. B+” [Entertainment Weekly]
– “And you can’t accuse Reznor of laziness: Every song on the album is carefully thought through, and there isn’t an inch of sonic space that hasn’t been painstakingly decorated. But despite Reznor’s efforts — and sadly appropriate, considering the album’s themes — the strongest emotion “Year Zero” is likely to inspire is apathy.” [Salon]
– “The fan-artist communion reaches a peak on the post-doomsday finale, ‘Zero-Sum,’ a welcome addition to the lofty tradition of NIN album-closing ballads. ‘And I guess I just wanted to tell you,’ says Reznor in a conspiratorial whisper, ‘As the light starts to fade/ That you are the reason/ That I am not afraid.’ It’s the end of the world as he knows it, and he feels (relatively) fine. 6.7″ [Pitchfork]
– “Even the electronic noises on “Year Zero” sound a bit old-fashioned: a throwback to the days when computer-generated music was full of static and blips. If “Year Zero” feels warm and, for better and worse, familiar, this is why. It’s not really a cautionary tale: it’s a reminiscence.” [NY Times]