With zero fanfare, Nine Inch Nails mainman Trent Reznor has released a new instrumental double album, Ghosts I-IV, online. For this release, Reznor is using the Radiohead model, allowing fans to download the album and pay whatever they felt it was worth, even if that amount was zero. Sunday night, the first nine tracks were posted as free, high-quality downloads at NIN.com, the band’s official website. ...
Depending on which of Reznor’s modes you prefer -- digital noise, industrial metal, toothy pop, or transcendent ambience -- the record may or may not be worth your entertainment dollars. Reznor described the album as “dressing imagined locations and scenarios with sound and texture; a soundtrack for daydreams.” Early reviews at Blabbermouth.net alternately said it “Sounds like making babies music ... Very nice” and described it as “very boring.” Apparently, “Wish” it ain’t. Still, it sounds like a good audio aid to make it through a Monday morning… assuming you can get through to the site.
Billboard magazine reported that Nine Inch Nails’ official website was so inundated with traffic that it shut down after a half hour. The music is available via several other sources, and will be released in other formats. The physical release will hit stores Tuesday, April 8 via Sony’s RED distribution network. Amazon.com’s download of the entire double album is $5. Physical releases vary from a $10 double CD to a $300 double-vinyl set. Amazon.com has the first nine tracks, which are being passed between bit torrent and P2P sites. The album liner notes are available as free downloads at nin.com.
Reznor is the biggest rock name to break out of Cleveland in recent memory. Recorded at Right Track Studio, 1989’s Pretty Hate Machine made him an instant alt-culture icon. The Y34RZ3R0R3MIX3D album of remixes from last year’s Year Zero LP fulfilled Reznor’s contract with Interscope Records, leaving Reznor a free agent. His first post-corporate project was poet-rapper Saul Williams’ The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust, which also used the optional-pay download model. (The tracks we’ve heard sent very Reznoresque, and definitely worth a couple bucks.)
"I've been considering and wanting to make this kind of record for years, but by its very nature it wouldn't have made sense until this point," Reznor told Billboard. - D.X. Ferris