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Year Zero

Year Zero

April 17, 2007
4.3 out of 5 stars 387 customer reviews

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Product Details

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Breaking the tradition of a five-year gap between albums, Trent Reznor has released the new Nine Inch Nails album "Year Zero" (2007) a mere two years after "With Teeth" (2005). Reznor attributes the long periods between albums in the past on alcohol and drug excess that comes from touring. Sober now for the last several years, focused and confident, Reznor's "Year Zero" is perhaps the best album of his career.

"Highly conceptual. Quite noisy. F@!#ing cool" is how Reznor describes "Year Zero," which I think, really hits the (pardon the pun) nail on the head. Stepping outside himself and eschewing NIN's usual self-involved angry and depressive themes, "Year Zero" portrays a bleak picture of (presumably) American society sometime in the not too distant future. Conflict abounds, militarily and between classes, which is the major theme of the album. Different songs offer different perspectives of this futuristic world--from soldiers ("the good solider,") to greedy industrialists ("capital G") to extra-terrestrials; the listener sees this corrupt society from different vantage points.

While Reznor took a more rock oriented, organic, almost live sounding approach with "With Teeth," "Year Zero" sounds more like old-school NIN in that it is more "industrial" sounding, with less live drumming. And whereas when listening to most past NIN albums, one gets a sense of what the singles will be, with "Year Zero," this is not so obvious. While some of the songs have an infectious hook, it's hard to imagine most of these songs as radio-staples, as the album is kind of "out there.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm not one of those guys who says that the newest work from an artist is their best. Did I like "With Teeth"? Of course. Was it better than "The Fragile"? Not really. Ignoring personal taste, I think it's fair to say that "The Downward Spiral" is the music-changing masterpiece of Nine Inch Nails. It was a fusion of the electronica of "Pretty Hate Machine" and the raw guitar of "Broken" and Reznor has done nothing like it since (unless you want to count the track "Burn" which came out shortly after "TDS"). "Year Zero" picks up sonically where "TDS" left off and politically where "With Teeth" left off. All of which is to say that I think this may be the best thing he's ever done. Again, this is my personal taste of preferring a lot of electronic noise (I always wanted a whole album of material like "The Becoming" and boy, did I get it!), but the bigger proof may come from the fact that Reznor has never recorded or written anything as quickly as he has "Year Zero." Anyone who understands a creative mind will understand that if it spews out of you and you don't mess with it, that's your subconscious working, which is where genius lives. It's loud, it's angry, and the future's not bright. I can't wait to hear what Part Two is like.
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Format: Audio CD
Don't be fooled, "Year Zero" sounds nothing like previous Nine Inch Nails releases. Perhaps its because the whole album was constructed on a lap top music making program. Perhaps because Trent Reznor has evolved as a human being. Perhaps its because "Year Zero" is part of a bigger picture, a concept album that depicts a story set in a dystopian future where the government oversteps its boundries in a post apocalyptical cyberpunk world. Perhaps because the planets and stars were aligned at the perfect moment.

Whatver the case may be, "Year Zero" sounds worlds apart from all of the previous Nine Inch Nails outings, and for the better. Yes, it sounds much different from "With Teeth", a less than stellar, yet enjoyable album. "Year Zero" sounds nothing like "The Downward Spiral", even though a select few are comparing them. And it certainly sounds nothing like "The Fragile", NIN's most versatile and complete recording.

One thing that you must remember is that all previous Nine Inch Nails albums convey a vary dark world and very self-depricating lyrics, bi-polar depression rantings, sickness and healing.

Unlike all of his previous albums, "Year Zero" features lyrics that have nothing to do with Trent Reznor's problems. It is a concept album, and an awesome one at that.

Maybe its because I am in love with anything cyberpunk, to which this album directly relates, in both sound and lyrics, that I find awesome. Or maybe its because Trent is evolving as an artist and as a human, shedding the depressing and darkness allowing for a more cohesive vision to protrude through. I don't know.

That is not to say that "The Downward Spiral" and "The Fragile" are not amazing projects, because they are.
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Format: Audio CD
("Year Zero" by Nine Inch Nails)

I'm sure that by now you've been reading about the elaborate "viral marketing" scheme Trent Reznor has concocted for his new concept album, "Year Zero." Numerous mysterious web sites with names like IAmTryingToBelieve and AnotherVersionOfTheTruth help tell the hyperlinked story of a future America (2022, now reset to just 0000) in which a Christian theocracy has seized power, setup a Draconian Department of Morality, keeping the nation in a perpetual state of war and fear, and is dumping mind control drugs into the water, etc. etc. ad nauseum. This is all very appealing if, say, you're still crushed by "The X-Files" no longer being in production or obsessively haunt "Lost" related sites searching for clues. However, if you're just a plain old music fan, you'll tend to ignore the crypto-hype and just ask if this is an actual album worth losing part of your hearing to. Well, friends and neighbors, I'm happy to report that not only is this a great album, but it's also NIN's best music since The Downward Spiral way back in 1994.

Don't get me wrong, I liked The Fragile and With Teeth, but "Year Zero" returns Reznor's work to the more experimental edginesss that gave "Spiral" such a spark of brilliance. Ignoring current trends in music, YZ often goes full throttle into left-field electronica.
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