The USS Quad Damage

Ghosts I-IV

You (sort of) get what you (don't) pay for

NIN have a new album out called Ghosts I-IV. It’s supposed to be remix-friendly, and comes in a reasonably priced download with a variety of options. It even comes with liner notes (well, pictures, really), cover, etc. all free. It’s even got promo material like wallpapers, icons, etc., again all free of charge. Best of all, you can get a decent chunk of the album for free (9/36 tracks).

In fact, if you read my previous article on the matter, it’s pretty much the sort of value I was looking for. I downloaded the free version, figuring I’d pay for the rest if it was good. Listening to it, it’s not just the distribution model that’s strange about the album. The music itself is pretty wierd as well.

The first 9 tracks, at least, range from 2-4 minutes, most of them at the low end of that range. They sort of build a sound and create a mood instead of being complete songs in their own right. It sounds like game music or scene music. There are no vocals, and no “classic” songs. The website says:

Nine Inch Nails presents Ghosts I – IV, a brand new 36 track instrumental collection available right now. Almost two hours of new music composed and recorded over an intense ten week period last fall, Ghosts I – IV sprawls Nine Inch Nails across a variety of new terrain.

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. I hope you enjoy the first four volumes of Ghosts."

It sort of makes me believe that NIN will still use more traditional methods for more traditional albums, but everytime they want to experiment they’ll use the internet. As for whether I want to buy the album, I’m now conflicted. Despite the fact that they give out flac, and there’s 36 tracks, it doesn’t seem like I’ll enjoy the album the same way as I do ordinarily. It might form a good basis for re-mixing, but other than that, I don’t know.

Hmm.. Still worth it though...