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Nine Inch Nails 

With Teeth

Wednesday, May 18 2005
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Some people seem to nurse their teenage angst well into adulthood, and as long as there's a paycheck in it, Trent Reznor will be among them, spilling out his soul on tortured rants like "The Line Begins to Blur" and "Every Day Is Exactly the Same," two highlights from his latest lament, With Teeth. Sixteen years after Pretty Hate Machine landed industrial in the MTV mix, Reznor's bitterness has become a cottage industry, but surprisingly his Nails show few signs of rust. Reznor is still a master craftsman when he's mining pop gold from his brazen mix of screaming guitar licks, distorted vocals, and rapid-fire drum tracks, but he's at his best when he keeps it simple: "Right Where It Belongs," an intimate, stripped-down ballad driven by little more than a melancholy piano loop, closes Teeth with the same disquieting flourish that "Hurt" lent to 1994's Downward Spiral. By now, Reznor may have whittled his output down to a formula, but guess what? The formula works.

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Rossiter Drake

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