Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Nine Inch Nails - Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D

Yes, the normally internet savvy Trent Reznor actually used l33t speak in his album title, showing us all that he's still hip with the funky jives that the kids rapped at each other in 1997. Looking past the stupid title you'll find some nice artwork and a fairly standard NIN remix album, which is to say a wildly uneven disc that contains a few good tracks, a few terrible tracks, and a pretty large amount of averageness.

Amongst the good remixes are Saul William's 'Gunshots By Computer' ('Hyperpower' with Saul's vocals added), a very dancey version of 'My Violent Heart' by Pirate Robot Midget and best of all a welcome return from the Kronos Quartet, performing 'Another Version of the Truth' as a string quartet (just as they did with 'The Frail' on Things Falling Apart all those years ago).

Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D (man that's a pain to type) ends with 'In This Twilight' and 'Zero-Sum' (the remix album follow roughly the same tracklisting as Year Zero itself). Fennesz' version of 'In This Twilight' is brilliant, infusing an already beautiful song with more lush ambience. In contrast Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert's 'Zero-Sum' remix is a missed opportunity, with a boppy bass line and cheesy electronica ruining what was originally the tear jerking album finale. Other lowlights include Olof Dreijer's 'Me I'm Not', because it's not a real NIN remix album unless you include a ten minute borefest, and a long stretch of about half a dozen mediocre remixes in the middle of the disc, which evoking no feeling as much as making me want to listen to the original album again until I remember how badly I've thrashed it into the ground already over the last year or so.

Also worth mentioning is the bonus disc, which contains the original album's master tracks for listeners to use to create their own remixes. It's a great idea, and it will be interesting to see what comes out of it, but on the other hand I wonder if maybe anyone who has the tools, experience and inspiration to make a decent remix isn't already making their own music...

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