In a rather amusing turn of events, Reznor told fans about other options, such as Amazon and -- get this -- BitTorrent and the "official upload" at Pirate Bay for the free offering of Ghosts I. Giveaways like this are probably giving the traditional recording industry bigwigs, like Warner Music Group, Universal, and Sony's and Bertelsmann's Sony BMG, metaphorical heart failure. Pointing fans to the industry's sworn enemy, Pirate Bay? Well, hoist the Jolly Roger, yarr.
Indeed. Over at Newsweek, John Shearer writes his account of excitement and frustration over the new release, and how he took the same route as me and downloaded it from Amazon despite already having paid for a copy on hobbled-at-the-time ghosts.nin.com. He concludes that "Reznor was right when he claimed this would be worth all the hassle,"
"Ghosts I-IV" is cringe-free and all texture, welding banjo, piano, distorted guitars and funky electronics into an ambient pleasure in which no one idea is forced to outstay its welcome in the service of anything so conventional as a "song." It's the kind of absorbing musical experience that the surviving ranks of know-it-all record-store clerks would be pushing on customers, if only they could offer it for sale.
Yes, that's right, we're finally making the transition from stories that are simply "Holy crap! What just happened?" to "So, what does it sound like?" Okay, so, the first article online about Ghosts was a review, but I'm still using this as my segue. One of the first post-meathead reviews posted was over at FEARnet, which suffers from an awful scrolly thingie that can be bypassed if you turn off Page Styles in Firefox. Porter Richards calls Ghosts I-IV "astonishing" in his review at Sputnik Music, where he gives it a 4.5 out of five... and 14 out of 15 people found his review to be well-written, to boot.
Also of note, the Boston Herald interviewed Brian Viglione, who spoke about taking part in the process, and also describes the album a bit. Nine Inch Nails made it to the front page of Slashdot again today on the news that the ultra-deluxe edition sold out in the course of a little over a day.