Album review - NIN's With Teeth doesn't have any bite
Nine Inch Nails — With Teeth
With any NIN album, expectations are unfortunately pretty high and the expectations were heightened even further because of the mixed reactions The Fragile received. After a few months of listening to the disc, I'm mixed myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm a HUGE NIN fan. I have every single release they have (Halo 1-19) plus the live DVD and CD as well as two imports, one being their live at Woodstock performance and the other being the Pretty Hate Machine remix album that was not released in North America. With that being said, it's hard for me to say that this album isn't all that I think it could or should be.
Let me start off with the positives, the radio hit, “The Hand That Feeds,” is such a good tune. It has that vintage NIN sound that mixes excellent production, catchy vocals and an esoteric vibe that makes you think that the song is so simple, but upon further listens, there is so much backing the simple guitar riffs. Another song that is that full-on catchy is “Only.” “Everyday is Exactly the Same” is also one other that stands out on the disc.
The bad comes with not only some of the songs, but also the track listing on the disc. “All the Love in the World” is too slow to be the opener of a NIN disc. Yes, it does pick up near the end, and turns out to be a decent song, but I feel it is a poor choice to be an opener. The title track, “With Teeth,” is just too boring for my taste. I don't care if one of my idols, Dave Grohl, plays of the track or on the album, it really doesn't do much for the disc. There are a few more tracks on here that I consider filler, which is unfortunate because up until The Fragile, Trent never had any filler tunes. Mind you, this is my opinion and what is one man's gold is another man's coal.
The esoteric vibe behind NIN music that I mentioned before is even more apparent if you purchase the Dual Disc version of With Teeth. When I have this thing blastin' on my surround sound system, the sound is phenomenal. You know this is the kind of technology Trent wants his music to be represented with. It is hard for me to put this disc on in my car because of so much stuff that you miss or is not accentuated on the regular version. I'm going to do a review in the next few papers about the 10th anniversary Downward Spiral release that was remasterd and remixed for this technology.
This disc is still worth a listen and if you have a good surround system, the dual disc version is worth a purchase just to listen to “The Hand That Feeds” and “Only” in all their glory. I wanted more but got a little less. Trent is still a genius and I'll still always buy what he puts out, but I was actually a little disappointed with this one. 6.5 out of 10.