Ghosts I-IV

Michael Szul reviews Ghosts I-IV by Nine Inch Nails from the Key 23 archives.

If you’re a casual Nine Inch Nails listener, this digital download is probably not for you, unless you’re also a fan of slightly ambient industrial noise. If you’re a hardcore Nine Inch Nails fan – or a computer using musician – then this is definitely going to excite you. In fact, from the musician angle, this is probably the best thing you’re going to get your hands on in quite some time.

When you boil it down, Trent Reznor just, essentially, released a 36 track database of industrial noise and music under a license agreement that lets anyone grab it and run with it. On the downside, there is probably going to be a lot of crappy NIN-esque imitators with songs floating around the cybersphere. On the upside, musicians without the cash to pay for licensing or equipment are going to be able to have a nice collection of base material to build upon… and you’ll end with some great songs to counter the poor ones mentioned earlier.

Reznor has really done the unthinkable with this release. This is probably the most significant contribution to industrial music – and music in general – to come along in quite some time. I’m interested to see where it’s heading.