NINE INCH NAILS
Artist in Residence
Release Date: March 2008 (digital downloads), April 8, 2008 (retail)
Nine Inch Nails' newest release, Ghosts I-IV is a 36 track instrumental collection. Clocking in at about two hours, it's definitely one of the most un-commercial releases Nine Inch Nails has released. It's definitely a release that you have to sit down and listen to in its entirety. It's the kind of release where you just can't pick and choose which tracks you want to listen to. None of the songs on the release actually have a title. Right at first, that can seem rather annoying. However, after you listen to the work, you realize that titles wouldn't truly help you identify any of the songs.
The music included on Ghosts I-IV ranges from slow, piano-based songs to some rather uptempo pieces. Most of the songs seem to clock in between two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half minutes. Only three or four of the thrity-six songs clock in at over five minutes. My husband commented to me that in the songs, he can hear elements from the Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral eras. Not to say that this is a regression musically on Trent's part. In my opinion, while I can hear these elements, I can also hear how he's taken those elements and updated them to sound a little more "modern."
While this was an interesting listen, it's probably not something I'm going to listen to very often. A big part of the reason for that is the fact that I really don't have time to set aside two hours during my day to just sit down and listen to music.
According to the website set up for the Ghosts I-IV release, the music was recorded over a ten week period during the Fall of 2007. Trent and some friends improvised all the songs that appear on this release.
Ghosts I-IV is available through Nine Inch Nails' website, in the following ways: as a $5 download (which includes all 36 tracks in a variety of digital formats and a 40 page PDF), a $10 double CD set (released on two audio CDs in a six panel digipak package with a 16 page booklet), and a $75 deluxe package (the double CD album in a hardcover fabric slipcase, along with a data DVD, and a Blu-ray DVD). There was a $300 ultra-deluxe limited edition package, but that has sold out. Ghosts I-IV is also available through Amazon's MP3 store, as well as in retail outlets (as the same double CD you can buy through the Nine Inch Nails website, or as a 4x vinyl release).
If you are a Nine Inch Nails fan, enjoy instrumentals, and have a couple of hours to spare to take a listen, then this release is definitely for you. For Nine Inch Nails fans and collectors who want to have all the music they have released, then this is also a "must-get."
(reviewed by Lesley Muir Aeschliman on April 15, 2008)