I have watched this movie hundreds of times. I even wrote a thesis on Natural Born Killers in college. The epiphany came at the end of the movie: The reminder that Trent Reznor had produced the soundtrack to this excellent movie. FATE! I knew then that I had my idea!
For almost a decade I've been telling anyone who would listen that "The Fragile" was the best album ever put out by Nine Inch Nails. This was an epic album but it got shit on by just about everyone. "The Fragile" never got the respect it deserved.
It was the kind of album that, when the volume was cranked you could lie in bed with your eyes closed and imagine it as the brilliant soundtrack to an even better movie. This movie might have everything you would want in cinema: drugs, sex, violence, and maybe something redeeming for the twisted main character. At least that's what happens in my version.
Let's stop here; this post won't be about that old ass album. (But really...if you don't own it...buy it ASAP)
This post is about HALO 26, otherwise known as Ghosts I - IV. 4 CDs - 36 tracks.
Reminiscent of "The Fragile", yet "Ghosts" is a completely instrumental album. The packaging and artwork on this album is amazing, just like most NIN albums of recent release. But this whole piece of work is very different then anything Nails has put out thus yet.
So let me get you started with a tune from Ghosts:
[Download Track 29]
This track is more upbeat than much of the rest of the album, chosen in order to pique your interest.
Trent Reznor explains, "I've been considering and wanting to make this kind of record for years, but by its very nature it wouldn't have made sense until this point. This collection of music is the result of working from a very visual perspective - dressing imagined locations and scenarios with sound and texture; a soundtrack for daydreams. I'm very pleased with the result and the ability to present it directly to you without interference."
It's this soundtrack concept that I love. I like the fact that I can just get lost in the music. Maybe even better than "The Fragile" is the lack of lyrics to get in the way. I wanna just let my mind wander.
I want to remind you that this not the industrial rock that you would expect from Trent. This is, as Reznor has explained on his website for the album, an unexpected surprise from experimentation. 10 weeks with no agenda and driven by impulse.
We began improvising and let the music decide the direction. Eyes were closed, hands played instruments and it began. Within a matter of days it became clear we were on to something, and a lot of material began appearing. What we thought could be a five song EP became much more. I invited some friends over to join in and we all enjoyed the process of collaborating on this.
The album was initially released digitally on the Nine Inch Nails official website without any prior advertisement or promotion. They even created their own torrent to distribute 9 tracks from the album. Actually, check out this from a text file inside the official torrent:
Now that we’re no longer constrained by a record label, we’ve decided to personally upload Ghosts I, the first of the four volumes, to various torrent sites, because we believe BitTorrent is a revolutionary digital distribution method, and we believe in finding ways to utilize new technologies instead of fighting them.
[Download Track 7]
I want to stress again...this is not about one great track. Much like a concept album I feel like it needs to be listened to from beginning to end. You don't have to...but just do as I say, you'll be happier in the end. /smirk
Trent is my hero. If you had a NIN sticker on your car I instantly think you are probably someone I would like to hang out with. Check out this album, however you get your hands on it. Then comment here. I want to know what you think about this album. Truly. Let's become friends.
This is where I would normally put the Amazon referral links here so you can buy the album and we can hope to make 10% commish. Put the best deal for this album is direct from Trent: ghosts.nin.com $5 gets you the album in digital form. Tough to pass on that right? You spend more than that on a coffee in the morning...