New Releases: Nine Inch Nails, Avril

By Kurt Orzeck for VH1 on April 17, 2007

Trent Reznor is old enough to be Avril Lavigne's dad, but that doesn't mean they can't duke it out in the ring ... er, record store. Reznor and Lavigne have been defined throughout their careers as iconoclasts, and now it's time to see which rebel can yell the loudest — Lavigne, on her third studio LP, or Reznor, on Nine Inch Nails' fifth.

NIN fans have been in bliss since Reznor announced that he'd already completed a new album just two years after releasing With Teeth — it usually takes him five or seven to get around to making a new one. And he gets an extra pat on the back for coming up with an illustrious, apparently well-thought-out concept: Year Zero depicts a future society poised on the brink of Armageddon, and there's a deliciously enigmatic marketing campaign to go along with it.

"It takes place about 15 years in the future. Things are not good," Reznor recently wrote on his blog. "If you imagine a world where greed and power continue to run their likely course, you'll have an idea of the backdrop. The world has reached the breaking point — politically, spiritually and ecologically. Written from various perspectives of people in this world, Year Zero examines various viewpoints set against an impending moment of truth."

Among the 16 tracks are "Meet Your Master," "The Great Destroyer," "My Violent Heart," "The Beginning of the End" and "Zero-Sum." That's Reznor for ya — always chipper.

If Lavigne's The Best Damn Thing is a concept album, it's a, uh, pretty loose one. "Everything Back but You" is about bad spelling, while "Girlfriend" — surprise — is about wanting to snatch up someone else's man. Don't expect her to dig all that much deeper on "Runaway," "Keep Holding On" and, ahem, "I Don't Have to Try." But Avril fans who have waited three years for The Best Damn Thing are still in for a treat: a deluxe limited-edition with bonuses galore is dropping as well.

Transcribed by JessicaSarahS

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