With Teeth [DualDisc]

With Teeth [DualDisc]

4.7 4
by Nine Inch Nails
     
 

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Trent Reznor has gone on the record as saying he pretty much turned his life upside down during the making of With Teeth, his first studio outing in more than six years. Having gotten sober and recognizing that he's pushing 40, the onetime poster boy for unfettered angst took stock and came up with what might be his most revealing set of songs to date. For…  See more details below

Overview

Trent Reznor has gone on the record as saying he pretty much turned his life upside down during the making of With Teeth, his first studio outing in more than six years. Having gotten sober and recognizing that he's pushing 40, the onetime poster boy for unfettered angst took stock and came up with what might be his most revealing set of songs to date. For starters, Reznor has dispensed with the ambient pieces that, on recent outings, showcased his artier or -- depending on your point of view -- more pretentious side. With Teeth is song-oriented to a greater extent than anything he's done since Pretty Hate Machine, but it seldom sinks into the pure aggro that marked that disc. Sure, there are stretches where gnashing and wailing are the order of the day -- notably the blindingly loud, paranoiac rant "Getting Smaller" -- but by and large, those serve as interludes between more thoughtful pieces. Of those, "Right Where It Belongs" is the most affecting, a stark, piano-laced epiphany that ranks alongside "Hurt" in its ability to translate outside the realm of diehard rock fans. Elsewhere, Reznor reconnects with his beat-making muse, cranking out jagged post-punk rhythms on "Only" that'd pass muster on a vintage Factory Records compilation. Reznor's still not a happy camper -- the lyrics to "Every Day Is Exactly the Same" alone bear that out -- but he's not as simplistic in his worldview as he once was. Six years in limbo will do that to a guy, to be sure, but it's hard to listen to With Teeth without thinking a new day has actually dawned for Reznor -- and feeling he might be able to build on its rock-solid foundation.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Trent Reznor always was a perfectionist, laboring over his final mixes with a fine-tooth comb, a belabored process that inevitably led to long gaps between albums. About five years a piece, actually, a wait that was sustainable between his 1989 debut, Pretty Hate Machine, and his 1994 breakthrough, The Downward Spiral; a wait, considering the expectations, that was understandable between that record and its 1999 sequel, The Fragile; yet it was a wait that was a little bewildering and frustrating between that record and its long-gestating follow-up, With Teeth. The Fragile was a grandiose, indulgent double album, dense enough to alienate fairweather fans while making advocates of those with enough time, patience, and fanaticism to listen to it repeatedly until it all made sense. It may not have pleased everybody, but it seemed like a record that necessitated half a decade to construct, and arrived with an appropriate sense of drama. That's not the case with With Teeth, which appeared in the spring of 2005 with the requisite deluge of press but without the sense of breathless anticipation that greeted The Fragile. Part of that was changing times -- fans who were 25 in 1999 were now 30 and weren't following pop music as closely -- but it's also true that the double-disc set whittled his audience down to its core, diminishing Nine Inch Nails' stature somewhat. They still had their cult and still won accolades from those convinced that artists who were important in 1995 were still important in 2005, but NIN seems not only out of step but diminished in 2005. Sure, Rick Rubin had Johnny Cash sing "Hurt," but Reznor's recordings seemed to have less impact on modern music than ever. His soundalikes vanished, his long-abandoned protégé Marilyn Manson turned the corner from self-parody to college lecturer, his romanticized goth morphed into Hot Topic stores and Evanescence. Not that any of this mattered one bit to Reznor. Instead of grabbing the gold ring when he had a chance in 1995, he squirreled himself away in his New Orleans house, recording obsessively, and according to some interviews conducted around the release of With Teeth, succumbing to alcohol addiction. He consciously turned away from stardom, along with anything happening in contemporary pop, so he could tinker in the studio. That lead to the obsessive, insular The Fragile, and that same impulse drives the sleek, streamlined, diamond-hard With Teeth. Quite frankly, this is the record that NIN should have released if Reznor had wanted to capitalize on the success of The Downward Spiral. It's loud and angry, doesn't skimp on hooks, and is heavy on both sexy robotic dance beats and crashing rock rhythms (some supplied by everybody's favorite drummer, Dave Grohl, but not that you'd know it from reading the CD; the chintzy packaging not only has no credits, it has no booklet) -- all things that made "Closer" an alt-rock classic. But for all the surface similarities to his past albums, there is a palpable difference in tone and approach on With Teeth. This is the work of a craftsman, a musician who meticulously assembles his work by layering details so densely, there's never a moment on the record where something isn't roiling under the surface, where something isn't added to the mix. He's good at this, though. With Teeth is an impressive achievement technically and the music is generally strong, yet there's a nagging problem -- namely, there's nothing new here. It's not that Reznor is recycling himself -- he's far too compulsive a craftsman for that -- but he's not pushing himself, either, preferring to work within the box he created himself ten years ago. Consequently, the music sounds as if it comfortably could have been released in 1996, the time when Reznor's style of music was at its popular peak. There's nothing wrong with that -- plenty of rock and pop musicians are craftsmen, working the same sound and finding interesting variations within it -- but there's something awkward about an industrial craftsman, or at least as how it's practiced by Reznor. His biggest problem is that while he shows considerable skill, even subtlety, in his music, the tortured sentiments of his lyrics are frozen in amber. They're eternally adolescent and they sound juvenile, even embarrassing, coming from a man on the verge of his 40th birthday. These words work when sung by a young man, when they're sung with a sense of urgency, but "urgency" is not a word that can be associated with NIN, even on a record like this that takes great pains to sound visceral and alive. Reznor is too insulated, too shut out from the outside world, too unconcerned with pleasing anybody but himself to make anything close to urgent. Without that sense of hunger, his music doesn't have mass appeal, leaving it to the hardcore who appreciate his sense of craft and construction, listeners who are eager to listen to the album enough times to memorize the details. In short, the same listeners who had the patience to learn how to love The Fragile will learn how to love With Teeth. [With Teeth was also released as a DualDisc, containing a CD of the album on one side and a DVD on the flip. The DVD contains a 5.1 Surround mix of the album, a NIN discography, and a video of "The Hand That Feeds." Like the CD, the DualDisc comes with no liner notes.]
Entertainment Weekly - David Browne
Both [Trent Reznor] and his music sound more invigorated than at any time since Spiral. (B+)

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/03/2005
Label:
Interscope Records
UPC:
0602498814864
catalogNumber:
000455382

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With Teeth 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
They say every artist has 1 master-piece but I dare say that doesn't apply to Trent Reznor. This man has managed to put out one master-piece after another. You shouldn't really compare this album to his previous offerings, as he is obviously much older & mature now - you have to listen to it almost in isolation to truly feel its power. The catchiest song is by far "Only" - the words are so terribly unique and so flawlessly delivered that I wish I knew what he was thinking when he wrote it. Then there's my personal favourite, the title track "With Teeth", the guitar is out of this world and his vocals addictive. Then there's "Right Where it Belongs", the most heart-wrenching song I've heard since "Hurt", a song where he asks you 'are you sure what side of the glass you are on' - Elton John himself would have been jealous of the piano on this one! But basically I listen to all the tracks, including the bonus "Home". Everything here is just brilliant, please don't listen to the people who say it's disappointing - it's a timeless classic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another reviewer on this site referred to this as Trent's Big Gay Album, and went on to say what a pathetic cd it is in his opinion. (1) Using Gay to denote something bad is offensive, not to mention moronic and juvenille. (2) It's a pretty good album in my opinion. Not perfect, but very good.
fairyprincessKO More than 1 year ago
I just recently bought this album and its my favorite! Trent has such a unique voice. I really like the lyrics and the otherwordly chords. Ive always liked really weird, unusual melodies. I cant get enough of this album! The songs keep running through my head day after day. He is such a musical genius......
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having had the pleasure of an exclusive preview of all 13 tracks, I must say "With Teeth" was worth the long wait. I can't wait to own a copy of this CD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most of this album drudges along akwardly with only a select few songs that stand out. Sadly none of these songs sound new or "on par" with Downward Spiral. The chaotic style of March of the Pigs can be felt in songs like "You Know Who You Are" and "Getting Smaller." There is also the peace and serenity influences of A Quiet Place heard in "Beside You in Time." But there is a lot of songs in between that seem lost and sort of blah. I consider The Downward Spiral one of the best albums of all time, and I had hopes that this release would be a step back to those days. It's better than The Fragile but nowhere near the perfection of Downward Spiral.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After The Downward Spiral nothing quite compares, but Reznor along with Dave Grohl on drums records a halfway classic Nine Inch Nails album on With Teeth. The first half of the album is simpler than the structure of this sentence; it’s as if Reznor is giving the radio stations exactly what they want. However, the second part of the album dives into deep dark waters with heart wrenching and mournful songs such as “Right Where It Belongs” giving Nine Inch Nails fans exactly what they needed. After waiting four years, eleven months, thirty days and twenty-two hours, the Nine Inch Nails deliver by giving us a dark and overall great album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
although the tracks are singular and contained and much more radio friendly, i'd argue that 'with teeth' carries as much overall theme as any nin release. id also argue that, despite a few 'bouncy' tracks, reznor's lyrics and content are as dark as ever, if not darker. where once nin was livid and explosive, reznor now seems to have become a camus-calibre example of existential angst. consider a few excepted lines: "hiding in the crowd im all alone", "i cant remember what it is we try to forget", "there is no love here and there is no pain", "there is no you there is only me", "my world is getting smaller everyday, and thats okay", "i think i used to be someone, now i just stare into the sun", "the more i stay in here, the more i disappear", "i can feel me start to fade away", "what if all the world's inside of your heart, just creations of your own... and you really are alone". if reznor lashed out with "downward spiral" he seems to be pointedly zeroing in on himself with "with teeth". the album touches again and again on themes of aloneness, isolation, and meaninglessness. he addressess these desperate subjects with simplicity, honesty, and perhaps with even a bounce in his step. i considered the juxtaposition intentional. i think some folks are measuring this album with a pop-rock yardstick; thats a mistake. one must give reznor a second thought and a second listen and avoid quick conclusions. to imply that this album was a quick fix for some radio play is just too simplistic. nin has integrity if nothing else.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reznor's cleaned up, and it definitely shows. The angst of old albums like Downward Spiral and Pretty Hate Machine is still there, but With Teeth is more controlled, more tightly focused. The added intensity this yields is astonishing. Reznor's stopped clanging and banging and turned it into music. This project took a while, but it was well worth it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Shocked at how much I love it! I personally think it's NIN's best complete album. I listen to this one straight through and love every song, quite rare to find an album that plays straight through now a days.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another outstanding album. Trent's music becomes deeper and more thoughtful with each release. If you haven't bought this album yet, get yourself out of that chair and go buy it NOW!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Considering the amount of time it took to create this album, i was a little let down. Only 13 tracks when you're used to them giving 15-27, and there is absolutely nothing inside the packaging and no credits. There are about 4 or 5 great tracks, but at the same time there are several that I prefer to skip through. The songs that are good though are fantastic, perhaps their best singles ever, which is what redeems the cd and makes it worth buying. It is still a decent cd just not up there with pretty hate machine or the downward spiral.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The music and obviously feeling of Trent Reznor has shifted and it's understandable why some people are a bit disappointed. This is not an industrial music album and has shifted dramatically from the NIN sound we all know and love. If you compare this album to the fragile (one of the best and in depth albums today) you will be disappointed. If you look at it as a new start you might find it a bit more enjoyable. There are some great songs on there but there are some tracks which are really NIN. I prefer the fragile. It's got the anger, emotion and darkness that one wants when they listen to NIN. With teeth doesn't really stir up the listener feelings to the extent it should
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, so I'm 17-years-old and am only just falling in love with Nine Inch Nails,but that's okay,right?Sure Trent has been in the music buisness longer than I have been breathing,but I think it is still respectful that I become a fan,even though I don't know much about his other albums...and like I'd want to right?My parents would have heartattacks if they caught me listening to his earlier songs!That's why I'm just going to start with his new album,With Teeth.I've listened to a few of his earlier songs,read through some of the lyrics and decided I'd be best off if I bought his new album,which is so much more cleaner,and better for me. But you can still hear traces of "Closer" in this album,the beats and tone of voice, you almost expect him lash out at you and start screaming 'I want to...like an animal!' God,no matter how bad that song is I just love it...shhh,don't tell anyone I said that! My top song from this album is "Only",the beat is awesome,and the words fall together flawlessly,Trent never misses a beat.I'm liking this album,it's awesome...the 80's synth is so in right now,Trent makes it his own,makes it unique(like he is,). No one could ever live up to him,his voice is so unique,he overpowers you. I'm so glad he's pulled himself out of the dark pit he was in,and that he's come back.And come back he did,cleaner and stronger than ever,and I'm glad he didn't shed all of his dark brooding demeanor,it's all part of his genious talent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really noticed how much Trent has cleaned up in this CD.He's cleaned up alot,cleaner music is so in right now.The songs didn't lose thier sexy synth dance-worthy beats though, and his voice didn't lose it's tortured throat-shredding shriek that I love. I was unsure whether to buy this CD or not after hearing some of his past songs,but I read through the lyrics to be sure and listened to clips and decided I liked it.But I recived this CD as a gift from my friend and it is the best CD I have!How dare anyone say that there are only a few good tracks on it!I love every single one of them,even "Don't You Know What You Are?" I was a little unsure at first but I changed my mind,it's awesome.Trent is still the Prince of Industrial-Metal,even though he's changed his image for a more mature 'see how much I've grown-up' look, which I love!Yea,we'll miss his Dracula-like costumes,but I like his new image,it's very him and very matured...he is 40-years-old after all,we all have to dress our age sooner or later. You can still hear traces of "Closer" in songs like "Only" and "Sunspots",you almost expect him to lash out at you and scream 'I want to...like an animal!' All the songs are mature and ageless,not as harsh as past songs.He doesn't beat himself up as much,it's still there,but I think he realized he had to move on. I hope he doesn't wait another 6 years to release a CD,I'd miss him too much. And just so he knows,he is very loved by his fans!This man is such a mystery,God I love him. (Listen to the title track,"With Teeth",Trent's voice is to die for!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
some of you probably like the old nine inch nails in the Pretty Hate Machine/Downward Spiral era. but me as a big nine inch nails fan. i like it. not because im a big fan. just that it is diffrent from there other releases. but that is just my apinion. i perfer for you to just hear the samples that they have on this site and see what you think.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for NIN's gritty edge, pass this by. There are two great songs on the CD and the rest are filtered to junior high spiffyness. Trent hasn't lost his edge, he's gone over it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It truly touches your soul, hearing Trent Reznor singing the immortal words 'I just want something i can never have' i mean don't we all? We all crave for what we can't have. Something I Can Never Have is a beautiful and might i say soulful song, definetely one of NIN's best ones.
Guest More than 1 year ago
in my own opinion i think this album is really good and mature. from the albums before and now he has really matured. all his albums are all good. but i like this album the best in my honest opinion and i dont care what anyone else think.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a really great record. He really sounds tight and strong with his voice, and i like the change in writing his music as well. The songs have more relatable feelings and was well worth the wait. With teeth and Sunspots are my favorite songs on the record. The genious that is Trent is proof in his records, it takes real talent to do what he does and still be great at it.
Gonzo84 More than 1 year ago
Even though it's been 4 yrs since the release of this album and now that NIN has finally said "Goodbye" with their last tour, I really have to say that out of all the albums, for some reason, this album gets me the most. Don't get me wrong, everything that Trent touches is pure platnum; from Pretty Hate Machine, which broke down the standard pop/metal sounds of the 80s and then came Broken, which in my mind is Reznor's most underrated album to date all the way to the online releases of both Ghosts and The Slip. This album is of course a departure for NIN sound, this album seems like many of the reviewers and fans are well aware of; more stripped down, which I like mostly due to the rawness the band brings, but also the fact that Reznor is not sticking to the same patterns like majority of artists do. The fact he can change it up a bit and yet still keep that NIN feel says a lot. This is also the album that was released after Reznor sobered up, which is kind of significant only to the fact that it shows that he can create with the same audacity as his earlier works. The songs seem to have emotional breaking points, you can tell that this is an album written after hard times with addiction, death, and depression, but I think that adds to the quality of work especially within songs like "Everyday Is Exactly The Same" and "Right It Where It Belongs." Reznor though keeps with his original style which exudes in Sexuality with songs like "With Teeth" and "Sunspots," which seem to keep what "Closer" had brought to the table going. In my mind, every song on this album is great, from the first number to the last, each song has it's own significance and meaning. This album also offers us a full band scale, instead of the usual layering techniques Reznor usually uses. In my mind, this is kind of like the Unplugged NIN. To the fans of the earlier days with electronica being incorporated into the mix, this might not be your cup of tea, but I say give it a chance and it will grow on you. Without this album, I think that The Slip would've failed miserably, but I love that album anyway. The songs can go from light to heavy to playful and energetic. A lot of people have been commenting on the "Anti-God" side of Reznor, which doesn't seem to make an appearence on this album, but I have to say that earlier songs like "Heresy" and "Suck," which carry that element of fire are sheer brilliant, if not just for the composition alone. Overall, this is an amazing album that everyone should sit down and listen too, even if you're not a fan of NIN, cause it's much different than his other albums and they continued to be so with "Year Zero" and "Ghosts."
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