11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
NIN'S HALO TWENTY SIX IS STUNNING!!,
This review is from: Ghosts I-IV (MP3 Music)
Ghosts is amazing. Short, to the point instrumental songs, some reminiscent of the beauty of Still, other's recall the best moments on The Fragile, a handfull of remix-types moving from one genre and style to the another. There are few hints of pop from later albums only shimmers of the ghost of future directions Trent Reznor and NIN are/will take, displaying the always evolving and maturing prowess as a musician.
Each track works more like a soundtrack than a standard NIN release, the deserted "1 Ghosts I", aggresive "4 Ghosts I" and a sleazy "8 Ghosts I" are not only surprising to the listener but hold the essence of what NIN has been about last few albums. New directions are hinted at the fast paced electronic beats of "14 Ghosts II" where middle-eastern/country- like guitarthings dance around a bonfire and then decide to go for a swim, an acoustic/electronic blend we haven't been treated to since The Fragile. "15 Ghosts II", is a breathy scared monster that works as a segue into more lighter slippy-nuxes of "16 Ghosts II".
The Third tome deals with more industrial grooves throughout, think Things Falling Apart vs Year Zero. Moments of grace and elegance of "21 Ghosts III" go where Thomas Newman hasn't been to but yearns to go, but that Vangelis has already been to, like the following track. Sounds move from rave to police car chases easily and without ruining the fluidity of the album.
And Ghosts IV, which are probably my favorite for their variety, execution, and knowing nods to past NIN titles. "28 Ghosts IV" is reminiscent of the acoustic version of TDTWWA while "29 Ghosts IV" is a hands on jamming session. "31 Ghosts IV"'s aggressiveness is not cold and icy but vibrating and alive with energy (not anger); there's a stunning section of guitar legend's Adrian Belew's in there and throughout. "32 Ghosts IV"'s thumping quiet beat is soothing as it is menacing, and are those eraser straws they're blowing on? Whatever it is, it sounds awe strikingly beautiful, and even more so as the album heads for it's climax reaching a setting the strays on The Fragile back on track with none of it's despair, just it's patience.
This album is as imaginative as every other NIN effort, making reinvention sound like an easy task. This is obviously the score to a movie we have never seen, and that exists in the mind of it's creator, that I hope, they will one day show us. NIN has always been a visual experience (unreleased Broken movie, TDS and The Fragile packaging, Mark Romanek videos) where Rob Sheridan continues making -- and improving, NIN's image. All photography that accompany the album is better than well suited: lonely swamps, aqueous gels, and many hands fiddling with distortions.
I don't think fans of any band have ever been treated to something like this, at this price and of this quality. Experimental at it's core, progressive in it's execution, lush and insightful, Trent and Co. have given us fans a late Valentine's present that, although unexpected, is more than welcome.