The companion disc for And All that Could Have Been, this has reimaginings of past NIN songs (including an amazing stripped-down version of "something i can never have") alongside some unreleased gloom-and-doom songs that are on the mellower/minimal side of the NIN catalogue.
Not just great as an album, but for the overall experience of it combined with the ARG that coincided with it. More dense sonic layers here, and this marks the first time Reznor stepped outside of his journal for lyrics. Each song is told by characters inside the Year Zero world, and the end result is more rewarding with each listen.
Reznor reflects on his dealings with addiction and recovery, as well as opening his newly-sober eyes to the world around him. While it doesn't take any new risks sonically, the lyrics are as honest as ever and shows that, as a person, he's finally growing up.
A great collection of instrumental songs/themes/ideas that fits in well with the rest of the NIN catalogue while also exploring some interesting new directions. Reznor calls this a soundtrack for daydreams.
The debut album isn't aging as well as the rest of these, which is why it's further down this list. "kinda i want to" gets more silly every year, and "ringfinger" is getting there too. Still, songs like "something i can never have", "terrible lie", and "sin" make this album worth revisiting again and again.
(personally though, I could go the rest of my life without hearing "head like a hole" again and be happy)
There are a couple of songs here worth listening to, but the majority of this album seems like retreads and D-sides. No honest, heartfelt lyrics here either. Good thing it was released as a free download, since that's really all it's worth.
The album that dethroned NIN as my favorite working band. It's so bad I couldn't even sit through the entire thing, though I tried really hard to. The majority of the music is computer-generated, to the point I half expected the cover art to include the Apple logo. I guess some of the lyrics were OK, but honestly I was hating what I heard so much I found it hard to focus on them. Releasing these songs under the moniker DJ Trent Reznor would have been more fitting, as that's what it sounds like...shitty electronica with him singing over it. Fuck this album.