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The Null Corporation
The latest full-length Nine Inch Nails album feels more like a trip than a "Slip." Filled to the brim with buzz-saw electronics, distorted drums and Trent Reznor's peculiar lyrical vitriol, the 11-song release fizzes with a distinct digital effervescence last felt on "The Downward Spiral."
Collectively, the songs aren't terribly cohesive, and don't puzzle-piece together as neatly as tracks on "Year Zero" or "With Teeth." However, they manage to stand apart. "Letting You" is like being the last car in a train you can clearly see has headed off the rails' a brisk industrial freak-out, a machine (maybe a "Pretty Hate Machine"?) about to go horribly awry.
"Echoplex" begins with an electro-dance beat and slowly builds with layers of guitars, eerie ambient synthesizers and airy electronics. "Lights in the Sky" is simple and spooky, with Reznor whispering over dour, minor-key piano stabs.
"The Slip" is a good collection of great new songs and is available for free as a digital download from the band's Web site, which will help defray at least some of the $53.50 needed to catch Reznor and company at Friday's Ford Center show.