Even if there are fewer songs and more skits here, the songwriting and muscianship seem tighter and more competant on the whole. Much akin to Folie à Deux, the worthwhile pieces here far outshine the few that fall slightly flat and I can’t imagine anyone who enjoyed NSFW being disappointed with this effort. Is it more of the same? Yeah, basically, but Danny’s enthusiasm and confidence paired with Brian’s ear for catchy grooves and tasty riffs is still more than capable of keeping their schtick afloat.
Honestly, how much artistic merit could stem from a sex-obsessed Jew in spandex and a theoretical physicist parading around as a keyboard playing ninja? Quite a lot, oddly enough. Tales of sexual debauchery, high fantasy yarns and NSP’s self-fashioned origins all effortlessly ride the waves of an endlessly exhilarating ocean of synth-y glam rock goodness. They also momentarily dabble in jazz, to mostly great effect. Tenacious D’s heinously vacated shoes have been filled by a duo capable of making a song about humping inanimate objects genuinely beautiful.
Kate took some time off after The Red Shoes (1993); it ended up being twelve years, but she came back with a double album that's structured similar to her masterpiece, Hounds of Love (1985), in that it's split into two distinct halves.
Disc One (A Sea of Honey) is a collection of eclectic and mesmerising songs about life and people. It's often cryptic and has many hidden depths. Contrast that structure with the simplicity and beauty of Kate's slightly deepened vocal delivery and you'll discover one of the album's great strengths.
Disc Two (A Sky of Honey) has nine tracks but needs to be experienced and appraised as a whole piece, like The Ninth Wave. It's a complex and multi-layered arrangement that tells the story of one twenty-four hour period, a single summer's day, which may take months or even years to fully appreciate.
The Slip does what the majority of NIN albums do: it mixes the angry and the serene, and after repeated listens it's the serene tracks that prove to have the most depth musically and emotionally. It adheres to a mostly paint-by-numbers formula, but at least none of those numbers are (Year) Zero.
It should satisfy fans temporarily, but there are a few stand-out tracks that make owning it very worthwhile. Get it for FREE at the official site.
Cycle Riot is the second full-length album from the trio with the difficult name fronted by Les 'Fruitbat' Carter. It's a collection of retro-sounding guitar-driven post-punk anthems that should strike a chord with the matured generation of students that embraced Carter U.S.M in their heyday.
It's a lot tamer than I expected and to be honest I was mildly disappointed on first listen, but after repeated spins it settled into the correct parts of my brain. Plus, it makes me happy to know that Fruitbat is still making music.