On the Playlist

With Teeth: A-

By Joshua Michael Torres for The Oklahoma Daily on April 29, 2005

For six long years Nine Inch Nails fans have been waiting for the new album.

Once again, Trent Reznor has not let us down or made us wait in vain for an atrocious album. Lyrically the album is reminiscent of "Pretty Hate Machine's" simple and to-the-point words of isolation and hatred. However, the evolution is evident without the annoying repetition of cliched spurts of self pity. This album has Reznor exploring the textures and melodies unexplored in the past albums.

The album starts slowly and sweetly with "All the Love in the World." It begins with soft beats and Reznor lulling himself with past instances of being passed over and ignored, but ends with sharp conclusion of detachment.

Reznor did something different on this album.

It is his first to feature a live drummer instead of drum machines. It definitely shows off, because the drums are one of the most driving elements of the album, setting the heartbeat that brings to life the computerized Frankenstein that is "With Teeth."

Reznor's noise samples and loops are uncharacteristically nonabrasive and add more to tone and quality rather than experimentation. This time the strength of Reznor's capturing thorns are completely equal to the lyrics and music.

Luckily "The Hand That Feeds" is not the only catchy song on the album. Songs like "Only" offer very erratic musical harmonies and evolved '80s synth, along with feelings of forced adjustment and feelings of coming out of one's shell.

With the previous albums, Reznor explored mostly themes of hatred and self pity. This time his words of self examination takes him somewhere. He speaks of the "others" as not mattering at all. This time when he says "nothing can stop me now," it sounds like he actually means it.

A-