The new Nine Inch Nails CD “With Teeth” is out. I had to get it, the first new CD I’ve bought in a very long time.

I’ve been a NIN fan since college. Moving to Commerce meant that I was finally within reach of Dallas radio waves and I could listen to something other than country music on the radio. That’s when I heard “Closer” and became a Reznor disciple. I would go to sleep listening to “The Downward Spiral” or “Pretty Hate Machine”. I’ve bought nearly all the CDs I could find from him, have concert videos, have gone to two of his concerts (I’ve been to four rock concerts in my life), and have worn out several cassette tapes.

I loved Trent.

His voice is familiar and soothing to me. His lyrics are intelligent. Often, he would write phrases directly from my mind that I never spoke to anyone. He was my mortal god; much more than a kindred spirit. I once had an orgasm in a dance club that was playing a remix of “Head Like a Hole”. I was lap dancing my then-boyfriend, clothes on. I just loved Trent that much. Hearing the song “Closer” on the radio still causes a Pavlovian response in me. Here, at last, were my emotions perfectly expressed and shared.

And now this album comes out.

For all those who argue that money doesn’t buy happiness, I now have proof in my hands that it does. Trent is content with life. It shows. His music sucks. I had to force myself to listen to this un-ending whine from a man with nothing more to prove to himself; nothing to fight against except ennui. He is living the America Dream and apparently, it bores him to death. He whines and complains his way through similar-sounding songs that eventually merge into a bit of static and guitar.

I think my one-sided love affair is now over.

I don’t believe that artists must suffer to create great art. Nonsense. But his anger, pain and depression were his genius. He fought against forces in his life; whether it was literal, like his former record label, or figurative, like the various expectations of society. He eloquently expressed the feelings of anyone who has suffered or questioned.

Once, a fellow English major and I had an argument (yes, he was in a band). He felt that Reznor was famous only because he could write “catchy lyrics”. Well, he must be smiling now. Trent can’t write his way out of his ass anymore. (Although I don’t know just how catchy lyrics like “slave screams/he thinks he knows what he wants/slave screams/thinks he has something to say” really are to the general public.)

I might buy another album if he bothers to put one out, just for old time’s sake. I don’t know. This was so disappointing and such a waste of money. He does nothing new, he says nothing new. In fact, he says nothing at all. If it weren’t for the voice, I wouldn’t know it wasn’t one of the slew of NIN imitators constantly getting radio play. It’s that bad.

Have I changed? Of course. But I still appreciate a good, throbbing rock song that tears up my mind and threatens my ears. Trent has none of that anymore. There is no threat, no aggression, no heresy, no fight and certainly no teeth.

Proof that money buys happiness. I hope one day I can afford to become so bland.

4 thoughts on “A Review: With Teeth

  1. Fiction City,

    I think I downloaded The Slip (that was the one you could take off his site, right?). Haven’t ever bothered listening to it. Guess that’s my commentary!


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