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Nine Inch Nails: Year Zero (2007): Reviews

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Stars indicate the most critically-acclaimed albums.



Year Zero
by Nine Inch Nails

8.9 based on 28 reviews
Read critic reviews
How did we calculate this? based on 177 votes
Read user comments

Trent Reznor offers his vision of a bleak future (the year 2022, to be exact) on this 16-track concept album.

LABEL: Nothing RELEASE DATE: 17 April 2007 DISCS: 1 disc GENRE(S): Alternative, Rock

All critic scores are converted to a 100-point scale. If a critic does not indicate a score, we assign a score based on the general impression given by the text of the review. Learn more...

100 Los Angeles Times "Year Zero" is a total marriage of the pop and gamer aesthetics that unlocks the rusty cages of the music industry and solves some key problems facing rock music as its cultural dominance dissolves into dust. It's easy for even Reznor appreciators to overlook this accomplishment, because "Year Zero" also works as pure pop.
100 Alternative Press Reznor sets his machinery on "kill" and points it toward authority and herd mentality. [Jun 2007, p.158] 91 Stylus Magazine This is one of the most forward-thinking “rock” albums to come down the pike in some time, playing with the genre in both form and function while showing off Reznor’s ridiculous resevoir of ideas in fine fashion.
90 Drowned In Sound Listened to as a journey from beginning to end, this is a genuine attempt to progress to pastures new after With Teeth.
90 All Music Guide Year Zero is the finest Nine Inch Nails recording since Downward Spiral. Its songs are memorable, beautifully constructed and articulated.
83 Entertainment Weekly Amid its carefully calibrated sonic assaults, Year Zero has a number of tracks that will stop you in yours.
80 Boston Globe It's classic Nine Inch Nails with a few extra-disturbing flourishes.
80 Blender THe music is scarily gripping... his best computer blues since 1994's The Downward Spiral. [May 2007, p.108] 80 Hartford Courant It's dark and harrowing, but "Year Zero" is the most compelling and fully realized album Reznor has made since "Pretty Hate Machine."
80 Rolling Stone On Year Zero, Reznor doesn't exactly sound like he's having fun -- does he ever? But he runs out of disc space before he runs out of ideas, and it's the first time that's happened in quite a while.
80 Sputnikmusic Make no mistake this is NIN as usual, but [it is] an effortless, inspired, and unaffected Trent Reznor the likes of which we may not have had the pleasure of knowing for almost a decade and a half.
80 Filter It's the post-apocalyptic sonics, the industrial-strength bombast and buzzing bondage-core that mightily sustains its frightening 16-track, one-hour run-time.
75 Prefix Magazine Applaud Reznor for attempting something that doesn't read like school graffiti; shake your little fist at him for doing it anyway.
70 Billboard It's fun to hear Trent Reznor play other roles and fire holes into the technology he's been so vital in employing. [21 Apr 2007] 70 The New York Times “Year Zero” is much more seductive than “With Teeth,” partly because of all the so-called noise.... If all these sounds often distract listeners from Mr. Reznor’s lyrics, well, so much the better.
67 The Onion (A.V. Club) Year Zero doesn't just fall short of the promo campaign; it doesn't even rank among NIN's most adventurous efforts.
67 Austin Chronicle Besides a batch of solid singles – electro-punk death march "Survivalism," fiendishly swinging "Capital G" – every so often Year Zero devolves into a feverish barrage of squelches and squalls that comes off as mood music for especially amorous androids.
67 Pitchfork Low on anthemic hooks and heavy on riotous noise breaks, Year Zero finds Reznor waving his digital hardcore flag high.
60 The Guardian Its nihilism can grate, but it makes an impression.
60 Slant Magazine Reznor seems to eschew depth for surface explosions and instant gratification, and the result is a finished product that, while decent on an individual track, doesn't hold up as Year Zero progresses.
60 PopMatters Hearing new material from this old warhorse at a time when it’s most needed is damn reassuring; however, it cannot be said, in all honesty, that the music on Year Zero is good.
60 Dot Music Everything here sounds familiar.
60 Uncut Nothing sounds more dated than an ageing futurist, and it's only when Trent cuts loose... that we get a glimpse of the world-beater we know he can be. [May 2007, p.103] 60 NOW Magazine Thematically it's overboard and at 16 tracks over 60 minutes repetitious and ham-fisted. But musically, Year Zero offers moments of industrial brilliance.
60 Hot Press A number of tracks here follow a similar, frustrating formula. For three minutes they showcase Reznor’s worst tendencies; the boorish plod of the choruses, the hoarse moan of the vocals. On the remainder of each of these songs Reznor does what he’s good at – i.e. creating delicious layers of chaotic industrial noise.
56 cokemachineglow Year Zero massively benefits from lowered expectations. Reznor channels his anger, focuses it and takes a much-needed breather from his tried-and-true formula of nihilism and the question of self-destruction, but at its core the album has very little to teach us or anything original to say.
50 New Musical Express This is just one long squelchy fart of a soundscape that Reznor himself admits is probably too long. It's certainly too unremitting.
50 Spin The songs drag in the middle, choruses become interchangeable, and too many tracks end with the same electronic stuttering. [May 2007, p.84]

The average user rating for this album is 8.9 (out of 10) based on 177 User Votes
Note: User votes are NOT included in the Metascore calculation.

Craig C. gave it a10:
THE best NIN album thus far!

Jacob S. gave it a9:
Very close to being perfect! Excellent composition on almost every track, and i always seem to notice more details on each listen. Reznor's voice fits the tone of the album perfectly, and especially Vessel, Survivalism, M, I'm Not and The Warning shows and excellent artist on the top of his game. Amazing.

Owen M. gave it an8:
Great effort from Trent. Very catchy album that has tracks both new fans and old fans can enjoy. He creates greats a great story with this album, those who followed the ARG online before the albums release will of course enjoy and understand it more.

Amurabi M. gave it a6:
With this effort, Mr. Trent Reznor (once a genius) tried to stay in the focus of media. With liberal propaganda, a conceptual album and some "smart" social commentary, Mr. Reznor tries to sound contemporary not invoking his inner demons. Right now, he tries to give some actual opinions on politics, religion and dystopias. But musically this is more of the same. Boring music with some sonic twists and turns that sounds original but not fresh (in the musical agenda of NIN). With two memorable songs ("Gog Given" and "Survivalism"), this album feels like some kind of filler of a great career. But no more.

[Anonymous] gave it a10:
Amazing.. May be the album of the year.

Ringo Dingo gave it a0:
Terrible. I guess I bought the non-concept version because mine sucks. No immagery, no hooks, very forgetable. I listed to it twice, tried to make it a third time through but got bored. I then popped in 90's NIN, cried a little, because like Nirvana that music will not be created anymore. Trent isnt dead, just his ideas. You can post masterpiece on a canvas smeared with fecal matter and people will buy it. I guess Trent smeared fecal matter on a mixing console and you all bought it.

[Anonymous] gave it a10:
Words cannot describe how much I love this album. If a single day goes by where I have not listened to at least ONE track from this album, something is probably wrong, or I was away from home with a dead iPod... Lyrically, it's genius; musically, it's a masterpiece. I REALLY hope Trent keeps this pattern: Shifts from angry to satirical to self-questioning and more, all about something relevant in today's world. Easily my favorite NIN album ever, and I really want to see something like this continue in the future. I don't know how these so-called "professionals" are rating it so low, to be honest. It's a genius concept album which details what the world really might be like one day if nothing is done to protect freedoms that are being taken from people with or without their consent. It's a musical masterpiece and a lyrical work that has no comparrison. If they don't like it because they don't like the music, then just say so, don't try to knock the whole idea because of one thing... The only other reason I can possibly see for such low ratings is if they actually LIKE what Year Zero is against...

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