Though â€œThe Eater of Dreamsâ€ could have been a super cool opener with its plinking click track-like beat and roiling background mechanical feedback, it fails to make a stab as a good opener for Hesitation Marks, the first Nine Inch Nails album in five years. â€œCopy Of a Copyâ€ has some cool arpeggiatedÂ keys and electric guitar and the self-aware lyric, â€œI am just a copy of a copy of a copy,â€ which I like a lot, but Todd Rundgren did this better years ago. (He actually appears later on this record.) â€œCame Back Hauntedâ€ has some gated electric percussion and some good noisy choruses with backing vocals and the first real use of electric guitar.
â€œFind My Wayâ€ has a rolling percussion, reminding me of some of Peter Gabrielâ€™s moments, with a nice plucking piano and a good, controlled vocal. I truly dig the funky guitar groove of â€œAll Time Low,â€ though we are into that Trent whisper thang he thinks passes for passion in a chorus that pretty much kills an otherwise interesting tune. (This is the one Rundgren is on later, in a revised version.)
Finally we get the rocker â€œEverything,â€ complete with great backing vocals, a straight-ahead punk beat and a truly good melody. This is a great, fun tune! â€œSatelliteâ€ is near-Prince territory, with its hand clap, danceable back beat and â€œIn Twoâ€ is a great commercial, computerized-vocal bleat and bopper, marking thatÂ Hesitation Marks does get better as it goes on.
But overall, one wonders if Trent Reznor is better sticking to creating brilliant soundtrack albums these days and not resurrecting overused musical moments that were well-used even years ago when he trotted them out as original NIN stuff.