Top Five Reasons Nine Inch Nails' New Track Sucks

NINEverythingCover.jpg
Ladies and gentlemen, I am a massive Nine Inch Nails fan. As an emo teenager, that was my band. Trent Reznor's angsty lyrics might fall short of the standards of an adult seeking intelligent explorations of the human psyche via pop lyrics, but no one seemed to understand my pain better other than Morrissey.

Reznor's resurrected band debuted their latest single, "Everything," earlier this week on BBC Radio One. So it is with great regret and a broken heart that I announce to you that it is the worst thing Nine Inch Nails has ever recorded. It just plain sucks -- no doubt about it -- and here's why.


5. This Video Actually Fits It
Can you imagine a world in which Carlton's Tom Jones dance from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Trent on a unicorn syncs up perfectly with a Nine Inch Nails song? That is now the world we live in.

I thought it was bad when we were all making porpoise jokes about "Every Day is Exactly the Same," not to mention Trent pronouncing that album's title as "A-with-a Teeth-a," but this is just getting ludicrous.


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4. It's Going to Stick Out Like a Sore Thumb
If "Everything" is an outlier on Hesitation Marks, which every other track released so far seems to indicate, then it's going to be one jarring misstep on a record of mostly pure Nine Inch Nails action. Seriously, listen to "Came Back Haunted," "Copy of a," "Find My Way" and "Everything" in order. One of these things is not like the others.

Furthermore, since it's positioned in the middle of Hesitation Marks, it seems like it will most likely throw off the entire flow of the album. Not that it matters if you're a person who listens to singles or their favorite tracks generally, but NIN has always been an albums band. Recall The Fragile or The Downward Spiral; dense records that demanded listening all the way through.

Ironically, Trent started a whole band to experiment like this, How to Destroy Angels, and it ended up sounding more like NIN than "Everything" does. Imagine "Everything" in a lineup with the rest of the NIN catalog on that upcoming greatest-hits compilation. It just doesn't work.


3. It's Actually Somehow Worse Than Trent's Synth-pop Days
Oh, you thought "Kinda I Want To" was an outlier on Pretty Hate Machine? Actually, that was just what Trent did back before he got a recording contract. We're all lucky he never got signed for this stuff, because he had a million of them, including two which have surfaced called "Maybe Just Once" and "Purest Feeling."

"Maybe Just Once" sounds like Trent binged on Invisible Touch before he recorded it, and even that pales in comparison to how utterly wretched "Everything" is.


2. Even for a Pop-Rock Song, It's Not Very Good
I know how I must sound with this article, but I have to admit: I love pop. I may have just bashed Trent for sounding like Invisible Touch on his early work, but only because he did it poorly. I actually love Genesis and Invisible Touch, just for totally disparate reasons as I love Nine Inch Nails, and never the twain shall meet.

But "Everything" isn't even enjoyable as a big dumb pop-rock song, the way, say, "The Hand That Feeds" was. Yeah, that song sounded like Trent crafting the ultimate "Nine Inch Nails for bros" track, but it was endlessly catchy and addictive regardless. This guy has always had a mind for hooks.

Somehow, though, when he actually tried to write a straight up pop rock song, he totally dropped the ball. "Everything" is one of the least catchy, least addictive, least flat out enjoyable tracks that NIN has ever recorded.


See reason No. 1 on the next page.


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31 comments
SeyR
SeyR

I found this article because I was, once again, listening to Hesitation Marks - an album I really love - and was thrown out of my mood (and rushed from another room to skip the song) when "Everything" began.  Just like every time I hear the album.  I can't even listen to it - not in the state the album puts me in, and not at any other state either, at that.

wave_goodbye
wave_goodbye

The fact that is was intended for a greatest hits album makes me think that it was probably the first track recorded in the era, and since he released a HTDA album not too long ago, I feel maybe he was still in that mindset. The track is different from what Nine Inch Nails has done before, but to deny an artist a chance to explore seems really childish. May I remind everyone of how the 3rd and 4th Deftones albums (White Pony and the self-titled album) were wildly different from Adrenaline and Around the Fur? And those kicked ass (even if fan-boys still  hate Self-titled). I say, Let Trent have this one, ok? It's catchy, takes a few hearings but if you open yourself up to it, the track grows on you.

wave_goodbye
wave_goodbye

I actually really enjoy the Pre-PHM tracks.

lulu_08
lulu_08

any chance you'll be covering local bands like this anytime soon? no?

darthstott
darthstott

I think the author is on to something.... he suggests listening to these songs in a particular order. Where I disagree, is on the order, itself.  This song is 7th on the LP. Let's see what the 6th and 8th sound like before we discard it.  The author, himself, pointed out Trent's affinity for the "song cycle." (A lost art in the iPod generation... I think he called them an "album band").   From what I've heard, he owed Interscope a single track for a greatest hits album and that the act of doing a song inspired the record as a whole.  What if this was the track he intended to give interscope as a great big fuck you to Jimmy Ivene and crew?  Who knows? Trent. That's who. I am an old fart who has followed him from the late 80's and even when he was a T-Total drug addict, he was still one calculated artist!  I suspect "Disappointed" and "Satellite" will add context to this "pop" song.  In the end, that has always been his talent... to roll up angst with pop-oriented grooves. Besides, he is almost 50. I'd bet his T levels are a bit lower than they were when he recorded "Broken" ;)

smirish
smirish

its a great song. its just over your head.  the joyous pop synth is sarcastic. the song is about someone trying to convince themselves they are recovered, but the subtle chaos and disturbing sounds indicate his past tortures are just underneath the surface awaiting to come out. the singer is just trying his best to sing past it with a blind committment to an un-authentic chorus about how well/happy he is doing. in this context, the song is very scary and disturbing. classic NIN. . 

this is evidenced by the 4th verse 

"But this thing that lives inside of me Will surely rise awake awake awake awake awake And the seed that breaks right through to me. And it comes to grab and take and take and take and take" 

this is not unprecedented for NIN. consider track 9 "Big Man with a Gun" on the Downward Spiral. obviously that was a sarcastic song aimed at misogyny. 

drew
drew

This is exactly how I feel about the song, its crap, he let his influences overtake his own unique sound and like the song says "become something else". But the song itself doesn't piss me off, because this kind of thing happens to all artists, but good artists can usually notice that and throw it away or keep it to themselves. It pisses me off more that there is so many people with bad tastes in music out there that are defending this, but then again we do live in a time where Nicki Minaj and Justin Beiber are considered musicians or artists.

rmj11
rmj11

It's a great song. NIN have always done the odd pop-rock-synth track. What about other NIN tracks like Capital G, Echoplex, The Collector,  Love is not enough? Someone here is all butt hurt because  NIN didn't release another Closer or Wish. Times change as do bands and their style. It's not 1994 anymore. Move on. 

Damon McDowell Jr
Damon McDowell Jr

As a there's The Downward Spiral and then there's everything else fan...it's not that bad. Although it does sound like Katy Perry could easily sing over it.

Cody Johnson
Cody Johnson

Copy Of A kicks ass. Came Back Haunted was ok. Haven't heard the latest one.

Colby Jack
Colby Jack

"As an emo teenager..." Yeah, stopped reading after that line.

Victor Del Rio
Victor Del Rio

Yes. And the fact that its not another Pretty Hate Machine or The Downward Spiral, which are classics and milestones, is one of the reasons.

Victor Del Rio
Victor Del Rio

It's actually pretty good and a departure from the very familiar NIN-sound. It reminds me of '80s music.

delrvich
delrvich

It's actually pretty good and a departure from the very familiar NIN-sound. It reminds me of '80s music.

NewRider Ivan
NewRider Ivan

Jonathan Barbeito...haven't heard them. What you think?

Casey Buhrer
Casey Buhrer

I'm a huge fan, but less than excited about this album...especially after hearing that track.

Tracy Veres
Tracy Veres

I love you guys at the Houston Press, but what is going on with all the lists? Everything written lately starts with "Top 5" or "Top 10." It's becoming a bit uninteresting.

kplo
kplo moderator communitymanager

More like Nine Inch, ahem...

Laurie Curtis
Laurie Curtis

Ha and here I thought I was the only one who made the "porpoise" reference. Eh it's definitely not a typical NIN song but I think I might like it better than the other new singles he's released. It all just sounds too 'refined' though now since he's apparently given in to the whole repetitive auto-tuney sound that everyone's into these days. Lahame.

Josh Webster
Josh Webster

NIN fans are like Metallica fans, angry about every new album because it is isn't one of their first three records. I love the fans and critics saying "this is not NIN". Yes it is, your opinion is invalid. Don't buy it if you don't like it. Most people will just bootleg it anyway.

James Fremont
James Fremont

I liked "Kinda I Want To" so I might like this. Trent's getting older, just like the rest of us. You and me, we're in this together now.

Bill Curtner
Bill Curtner

It's a pop song. That's what he does. Who cares? Also, Santa is not real.

Justin Considerate
Justin Considerate

"Trent gave us 'Came Back Haunted' first, a middling track with all the hallmarks of a typical Nine Inch Nails single. It was boring and lacked progression, but it was definitively NIN." This quite perfectly describes their entire catalog to me. I was never a fan and as they consistently water down their stock it continuously baffles me how textbook dilution is confused by fans as sophistication. But here I guess it's not.. it's clear how bad their last decade has been but because they did something that got them attention once it's worth revisiting. I suppose it's genuine to give it a listen on the way to the new M. Night Shyamalan movie, yes?

SeyR
SeyR

@smirish That's actually a fair assessment, but it still doesn't work for me.  I listen to albums as a whole, and the songs leading up to this one put me in a headspace that makes "Everything" a supremely unpleasant experience for me.


wave_goodbye
wave_goodbye

@smirish I didn't think of it that way. That puts the song on a whole new level.

iceman34572
iceman34572

@Josh Webster Agreed.  Trent does things because he wants to, not because he feel he has to conform to any set "standard".  This is completely 100% NIN.  People have tried to pigeon hole (with zero success I might add) the genre of his music since day one.  To those that are going to stop listening to NIN or complain about the new tracks, good.  Just means more tickets for those of us who aren't fair weather fans.

iceman34572
iceman34572

@Justin Considerate Failed troll attempt.

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