Ghosts I-IV

Studio Album by released in 2008

Ghosts I-IV review

Nine Inch Nails: forerunner of musical future

While all musical experts rack their brains trying to predict what is going to happen with music industry in the future, some people take quite concrete measures and literally transfer this very future into present. There are not so many of them but you can be quite sure that their number will only increase. Of course, the practical methods of XXI century musician do not look quite shaped yet and generally work only for big stars, but as long as we have such person as Trent Reznor who is so enthusiastic about working out new approaches to distribution we can hope that everything will come to a stable form quite soon. In 2007 he invented incredibly original concept for promotion of his album Year Zero evoking a real stir among Nine Inch Nails fans and extensive rapture within critic circles. But only one year later he is ready to astonish his audience with something new. His seventh studio album Ghosts I-IV looks original not only in terms of distribution (Reznor applied five different variants) but also in musical

Ghosts I-V cannot fit into stylistic borders

Can you imagine an ambient album composed of 36 instrumental compositions? Picture how you sit there and listen to 110 minutes of weird and shapeless sonic experiments, the majority of which are supposed to arouse depressive air. So how does it feel? Do you have any skeptic thoughts about that? To make things look even more alarming throw a glance at the album's track list where all of 36 tracks have one name – Ghost. Reznor is a gloomy person indeed – he managed to create an anxious image at the expense of letters alone. If all these doesn't scare you and doesn't evoke a feeling of weariness this album is definitely for you. However, it is pretty hard to tell which type of a listener will be pleased with this record and who should be aware of it because this album is so huge that it is almost unimportant what kind of music you like. As a matter of fact it is even hard to tag it with any stylistic term. At first you think that this record will seem tiresome approximately at track number ten. But when you start listening to it more closely you begin to understand that track number ten is just the beginning.

Systematic chaos

For the most part all the tracks of Ghost I-IV possess an oppressive and pretty dismal atmosphere. But it is probably the only feature that unifies them, in other respects the album turned out to be surprisingly diverse. Sometimes tracks interflow into each other thus creating a persistent sonic canvas but still every composition stands by itself, every number sounds unique and never resembles the other. You can never tell what is going to happen next, Reznor's way of thinking is almost unpredictable. The album starts to unfold its otherworldly soundscape after the first couple of tracks, which serve as a piano driven introduction here. In fact, this album has everything you would like to hear from Nine Inch Nails: heaviness, flows of synthesized sounds and distorted samples; beat, which may vary from LoFi bleeping to massive explosions, different kinds of industrial sounds, howling and even simple noise. But still, clear and even beautiful tunes are also not uncommon here. However, the album doesn't sound too chaotic even despite all the heterogeneity and unpredictability of the material. It would be much more appropriate call it a systematic chaos, which hides a wide range of feelings somewhere within its depths. Ghost I-IV is an album that can hardly fit into any musical boarders. You can explore it and hunt for subtleties for hours, it doesn't seem boring, and it is catchy and enigmatic. Everyone who is looking for something unusual should definitely gibe a try.