Friday, March 7, 2008

Nine Inch Nails says screw the RIAA

So Trent Reznor joined Radiohead in saying fuck the RIAA, people want to download music and I'm going to let them. I'm not going to go into a debate about whether downloading is stealing, but if there was zero chance you'd pay for something in the first place, hearing it for free might make you buy in the future. Personally I like physical product, I still have vinyl albums and buy new vinyl releases, like the kick-ass Harold & Maude Soundtrack LP that Cameron Crowe is releasing. I should have that Monday, so expect a full report. I prefer to buy CDs at concerts when possible, so the money goes right to the artist instead of being whittled down by middlemen.

However, the news this week is that Nine Inch Nails has a new 36-track instrumental album, available for $5 off Amazon in excellent quality mp3 format. You need to download their MP3 Downloader, but after that it queues all the songs and drops them in DRM-free mp3 format in your My Music folder under "Amazon MP3." Convenient enough. On Comcast broadband it took about 10 minutes to receive 189mb of music. They have also released the first 9 tracks on "the usual torrent sites" as a teaser, and I imagine the full album will be there in 3.2 seconds after the first scenester downloads it.

So who cares how cheap it is, how's the album? Well, it's sort of like Trent does ambient. I've always enjoyed his videogame soundtracks, and I used to pop in my old Quake CD to hear the music back in the day. I've listened to it a few times, and I like it a lot. He describes it as "soundtracks to daydreams" and it serves that purpose very well, helping my space out at work and not strangle my co-workers. The Mouth from the South is a particular mood today, and the Loudest Woman in the World came in early, so Calgon, take me away.

You've heard similar stuff before if you've ever listened to any of Trent's EP's or singles, or the bonus tracks on any albums; he likes doing instrumentals and soundtracks, and I think he's quite good at it. You get a nice variation of moods with Ghosts I-IV, with some even being energetic, though most of this is mood music. You can listen on the website, or Amazon.

He's got 4 different editions of the album if you want a physical copy. $10 for a 2 CD set, which releases in April and you can download the album immediately. Hard to beat that price. There's a $75 version with a hardcover book, a Blu-Ray disc with a hi-def version of the album, and a sold-out $300 set that has the only vinyl version available, and a bunch of signed stuff, and one of Trent's pubic hairs under glass or something that made fans snatch up all 2600 copies in a heartbeat. Why not just release the vinyl separately, you douche? It'll be available eventually, I suppose. The cover art is pretty uninspiring, and one of the few times I'm not eager to flip 4 sides is when the music is relaxing and moody, so I'll probably stick with digital this time around.

My other caveat is that Trent named all the songs simply Ghosts 1-36, which leads me to believe that some of them were filler tracks that were lying around from other albums. It does lend it to being seen as a singular work, but some of the transitions, like Ghosts II 13 to 14, are quite abrupt and lends a little more credence to the "filler theory." For $5 I'm not going to complain, I'm enjoying it as a whole and can imagine it drowning out The Mouth from the South bantering with the Staten Island Stentorian1 for weeks to come, and for that Trent, I thank you.

1 Using my Honors Degree in English Literature, despite grammar that would make my professors pelt me with scorn, like a troop of poo-flinging monkeys.

Post a Comment

And remember, this is for posterity so be honest. How do you feel?

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

disclaimers of legal bull shitte

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

All writing © 2011 Thomas Pluck and may only be reprinted with express written permission of the author. You may link to pages at will. If you wish to repost anything on your website you must contact Thomas Pluck using the contact form. Thank you for your cooperation. -Robocop