Release Date: Apr 8, 2008
Record label: N/A
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
NIN’s Trent Reznor has never had a particularly healthy relationship with his various record labels, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the aging goth prince of pain has gone the way of Radiohead and released this overstuffed collection of instrumentals through his website as a download-only deal. (Of course, you can still order the super-expensive packaged version, too!) At 36 tracks, Ghosts is as impressively ambitious as it is uneven and stunted. Ranging from subtle and beautiful piano-based numbers to heavy percussive pieces, the collection has no real cohesion but conveys a fragmented sense of experimentation.
Roughly a year after Year Zero -- a year marked by lots of sniping with his record company first about their clueless promotion then devolving into a tirade about their general uselessness -- Trent Reznor broke free of Interscope/Universal and became a free agent, releasing music where and when he wanted. To celebrate his freedom he released the four-part Ghosts, a clearinghouse of 36 instrumentals all created during the years he crafted Year Zero. It should come as no great surprise that Ghosts then plays like a sketchbook, a place where Reznor jotted down sounds and textures that flitted across his mind and then either took them no further, or decided to spin them into something entirely new for the full album.