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Nine Inch Nails Announces New Album Download, Ghosts I-IV, A Forward-Looking Dare

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The big announcement that seems to be slowly making waves this morning is the announcement by Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor that his latest album, a two-disc set of instrumentals, and one apparently no one knew was coming, would be out in April, the 8th to be exact, but is available right now a la Radiohead for download. Grab the first 1/4 of the album for free, or pay $5 and get it in basically any of the popular formats (mp3, FLAC, ALAC) along with a 40 page PDF booklet. Or pay $10 and get not only your choice of download but also the CDs when they're released in April.

Where NIN gets it right is where Radiohead got it wrong. Where Radiohead simply offered up two options – either download the album for any price as a 160kbps mp3 or buy the CD with a bonus disc in a box with two vinyl discs, NIN went the real deluxe route, offering up a significantly deluxe-ified edition for those willing to pony up $75. Not only do you get the above discs and downloads, you also get a DVD filled with the multitracks to do with as you please – remix to your heart's content (2007's Year Zero Remixed also included a DVD like this) – plus you get a BluRay disc of 24 bit 96Khz high resolution audio (is this a first?) The four discs will be contained in a cloth-covered, hardback book, which, along with another hardcover book filled with artwork, go inside of a cloth-covered box.

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And if you're feeling especially wealthy, cough up $300 and Trent will give you not only vinyl in their own boxes plus all of the above, he'll sign it all in his own blood. Well, okay, maybe not his own blood, but he will sign the set. This version, by the way, is strictly limited to 2500 copies. If you want it, buy now.

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Do I sound optimistic? Do I sound excited? I am – this is a much more worthwhile investment than the Radiohead "Disc Box" for In Rainbows, in my opinion. Trent has been paying attention, apparently, to the many complaints that were registered when Radiohead offered up their downloads, and opted to do what they should have done in the first place. It's unfortunate that Ghosts I-IV won't be his In Rainbows but instead will function more as Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 freaky cousin on speed, but at least he's taken the step that needed to be taken to truly be a forward-looking artist in a new age.

 

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About Tom Johnson

  • http://www.somrod.com Mark Sahm

    Tom, thanks for the tip! The NIN site was down, so I just downloaded from Amazon.

    36 NIN instrumentals for $5 is a hard deal to turn away.

  • http://www.confessionsofafanboy.com Josh Hathaway

    I’ve never been a NIN fan but that had a lot to do with the vocal/lyrical bent. Anyway, an instrumental album from Mr. Reznor has me intrigued. The $75 package sounds amazing but I’m not sure I’m that committed so I’m going to go the $10 route. I’ll get to hear it all now and then I’ll have the CDs when they go physical.

    THIS is how you do digital distribution, no question about it.

  • http://www.confessionsofafanboy.com Josh Hathaway

    $6.99 for shipping and handling is a bit steep but this is still a very good value package. $16.99 gets me downloads in a format of my choosing and two discs delivered to my mailbox. Not bad.

  • http://www.knownjohnson.com Tom Johnson

    That is pretty steep, but I think I read that it was going to be an upgraded shipping, not mail or ground UPS. I sure hope so – that’s a pretty steep price for crappy slow shipping. But feel better – I paid $14.99 for shipping on the deluxe!

  • http://www.confessionsofafanboy.com Josh Hathaway

    There is part of me that wanted to pull the trigger on the deluxe just because of how damn cool that package is (Blu-Ray audio?!), but I stuck with the $10 option. I’m listening to it now.

    The third song of Ghosts I reminds me a lot of a song from U2/Eno’s Passengers. I like this so far.

  • http://www.knownjohnson.com Tom Johnson

    Cool – glad to hear it. I’m a little afraid it may be too atmospheric for many mainstream listeners hoping for the next “I Wanna Fuck You Like An Animal.” He’s a fan of Eno, Bowie, etc., so shades of their instrumental stuff definitely creep in all over the place.

    I’m trying not to overdo listening to it so the full package is still a “surprise” of some kind, but I was thrilled to hear Adrian Belew all over the second half of this. (He’s also peppered throughout the first half.) It’s hard not to keep going back to hear more, but I’d like to have some reason to anticipate the actual CDs.

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    too atmospheric? hmmmmm….i might have to get this.

  • http://www.somrod.com/blog Mark Sahm

    Josh, I’m shocked to hear that you bought this stellar album. This might just negate your Guster obsession. Maybe.

  • http://www.confessionsofafanboy.com Josh Hathaway

    I’ve now listened to it enough times that I almost wish I’d gotten that $75 version. Man, there is some really good stuff here.

    I will admit, it wasn’t what I expected at first. I was thinking it would be instrumental NIN music. It really isn’t. This is something very different, very ambient and I like that. I wish there was some of the harder edged stuff as part of the album but judged strictly on what’s here instead of what’s not, it’s excellent.

    Saleski, you totally need to get this. It reminds me very much of the U2/Eno Passengers set, which I quite like.

  • Jock

    Been a fan since the beginning, and this is a great piece of work. Listened to most of it (just downloaded the $5 version from the website) and so far I like what I hear.

    There are small smatterings of older sounds like Ghost 34 that reminds me of La mer etc..

    It honestly sounds like he has created a beautifully ambient album than encompasses some of his older work.

    Hopefully “the shape of things to come” to quote Chris Cornell ;)