Nine Inch Nails

With Teeth (Rating: 4)

By Joshua Klein for Playboy on May 3, 2005

Although it seems like ages pass between Nine Inch Nails albums, industrial innovator Trent Reznor has actually kept a steady schedule since 1989 and released a new album about every five years. That's still an eternity in the fickle world of pop music, and the relative commercial (though not creative) disappointment of the last NIN album The Fragile proved that every fan isn't willing to wait for Reznor to poke his head out of the ground. With Teeth shows him returning to form with renewed focus. Reznor keeps the album to an economical 13 songs and cuts back on the prog-rock noodling, keeping his indulgences in check. Tracks such as "Getting Smaller," "The Hand That Feeds" and "You Know What You Are?" offer the kind of pummeling art-metal that made NIN famous. Reznor showcases his slower, funkier side on "Sunspots" and "The Collector" and even offers a few new twists. "All the Love in the World" starts with piano and hiccupping percussion and morphs into a sedate club number, while on "Only" Reznor sounds like he's having some fun with the slinky Gary Numan-like beat and an offhand, almost spoken delivery. There's not enough hooks and outright vitriol to win back any fans he may have lost, but Reznor should take heart in the fact he's still making music that will outlast most of his admirers.

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