A guest post today from Brynn Alexander. If you've written something you'd like to see on MCO, contact us.
There have been some EPs and singles from Trent Reznor's latest project, How to Destroy Angels, but finally their debut album, Welcome Oblivion, is slated for release on March 5. Be aware, though - old-school fans of Nine Inch Nails' industrial days are likely to be disappointed, as the sound of HDTA is more along the lines of the more mellow, piano-driven work that Reznor has been doing for film soundtracks over the past couple of years.
And the big question is - what's love got to do with it? Certainly Reznor's marriage to former West Indian Girl singer Mariqueen Maandig has influenced the direction his music is going, as much of HDTA's sound is based around Maandig's sultry vocals. There's a definite electronic base to HDTA's music, which is especially evident in the lead single from Welcome Oblivion, entitled "How Long?" It's pretty much electronica through and through, but if there are undertones of any other genre, one would have to say that it leans a lot toward straight-up pop music.
Of course, whether or not you think this is an unfortunate turn of events depends on whether you liked the direction Nine Inch Nails was going over the course of their last couple of albums. There were certainly hints in there that Trent was mostly done with his hardcore industrial days, and although a lot of his music does still have a sharpness to it, it's just not as blatantly rock-driven as it was in years past. This is even more apparent since he wrapped up NIN and started working on soundtracks and HDTA, but although he's definitely mellowing out, there's a lot to be said for exploring new roads.
It's probably safe to say that Reznor will be losing a lot of fans who were only around for the thrash, but in exchange he's opening himself up to a whole new set of listeners who like their music with an electronic edge. Evolution is probably a good thing, but it remains to be seen how much mileage Reznor and company can get out of this particular project. Welcome Oblivion doesn't seem all that different from the EPs and singles that HDTA has already released, so in order for the band to truly evolve, they'll have to regroup after this year's album and tour and figure out where the band should go from here, much like Nine Inch Nails did every couple of years.
Welcome Oblivion is out on March 5 but is available for preorder now.