Nine Inch Nails, With Teeth
By Chris Riemenschneider for Minneapolis Star Tribune on May 1, 2005
Like a lot of angry young men, Trent Reznor hasn't lost his rage with age, but he has learned how to manage it better. Reznor's first NIN album in five years still sounds bitter and wasted lyrically, but musically, its outbursts are sharpened and -- dare it be said -- more sophisticated than on past albums. Yeah, sophisticated anger. Take that, Metallica. The best songs, including "The Collector" and the title track, are graceful tightrope walks between piano-plucked moodiness and ferocious noise. None of the 13 songs rocks all-out from start to finish, although "You Know Who You Are?" comes brilliantly close. But with Dave Grohl doing a lot of the drumming and Reznor fondly revisiting some of the elements of NIN's 1989 debut, "Pretty Hate Machine," the album is strong enough to make you long for an era when hard-rock didn't just seem like one big growl.