by Leah Sottile and Sheri Boggs
Nine Inch Nails
With Teeth FIVE STARS
Trent Reznor has been angry for a long time - hell, I doubt I was even wearing a bra the first time I heard him and his splitting shrieks of hate, passion and self-loathing. The Downward Spiral came and went, leaving the censors' ears bloody and angsty teens with new anthems.
But for the six years since his less-than-savory The Fragile, fans were beleaguered by poseurs like Marilyn Manson and Evanescence wondering where Trent had gone. With Teeth, Reznor's latest, is everything us grown-up NIN fans had been searching for since our hormones aligned and the anger subsided a tad. Teeth spouts tracks where Reznor screeches and bleeds just like the old days, but he finds this new, reflective sound on tracks like "All the Love in the World" and "The Hand That Feeds." Yeah, it's still pissed off -- but this time, there's a melody to the madness. It's a soundtrack of regret, of tears, of things left unsaid. It's our last trickling thoughts - just before they fade to black. -- Leah Sottile
Cold Roses THREE STARS
When we heard Ryan Adams was coming to the Festival at Sandpoint a while back, we figured either they landed one hell of a musical coup or that Adams' career must be slowly sliding the way of the Zip drive. After listening to Cold Roses, I would have to conclude it's a little of both. Adams is still crafting deliciously resonant, regretful little country confections, but the bombastic rock star persona of Gold and Rock N Roll is all but gone.
"If I Am a Stranger" is a surefooted and plaintive rollicker and the old-school country he channels (think Marty Robbins, Merle Haggard, hell, even Lyle Lovett) is compulsively listenable. The one drawback -- and unfortunately it's a significant one -- is that Adams didn't winnow his two discs down to one. Good songs are lost among tunes just like the ones you heard a few minutes ago. Still, if you just want to wallow in the melancholy alt-country goodness that is Ryan Adams, this is a purchase you won't regret. -- Sheri Boggs
Publication date: 06/0\9/05