Consumer Guide Album
Nine Inch Nails: Year Zero [Nothing, 2007]
No matter how clichéd Trent Reznor's dystopian fantasies may be--and they have their moments, like the rebels who conquer by crawling and the anti-Bush anthem rendered juicier by its deliberate inconsistencies--it has the virtue of getting him out of himself. And though he may warn of the noise here, it's all just modern music, whooshing and phasing hookily hither and yon. Is it a coincidence that he created his most songful album just when he stopped obsessing on his own dubious agony? Nah--it's fate.