I would not blame the people I speak to regularly for getting some kind of fatigue regarding Nine Inch Nails. It seems like a week hasn't gone by this year without something happening: a single, an album, or tour dates.

It didn't come as much of a suprise that a new album was released in it's entirety this monday gone. ID3 tags in previously-released singles said "watch nin.com on 5th of may". It wasn't even that suprising that the whole album was free, either.

What was a suprise, to me at least, was that this album is fantastic. I'd heard two tracks prior to the album being released (although one only by a few days). Whilst I enjoyed them, they were pretty safe, lyrically and musically. They didn't push any boundaries. They also did not forshadow the album at all.

This album is the best Nine Inch Nails release this century. It's too early to tell whether it stands higher in my estimation than 1999's The Fragile. If so, it's the best release since 1994. I had not even considered this a possibility.

I also think it's the best album to present to someone who isn't familiar with their work to see if they'd like to look for more. It has a good range of tracks covering loud, aggressive, introspective, instrumental, dancable, dark and delicate.

I'm now starting a self-imposed ban on listening to the album, so as to not overdo it too much so early on. Regardless, I can still hear The four of us are dead playing over and over again in my head. This is a strong candidate for my favourite NIN song ever. It made me think of what the Cure should be writing.

Each track in this release (like each of the 36 tracks in the last album) have their own unique embedded picture in them. There is scant software in Debian that can handle these, unfortunately. I think "tagtool" can add and remove art. Amarok copes admirably. Rhythmbox doesn't, unless you apply this patch, which is stagnating in gnome's BTS, unfortunately. For the lazy (with 32bit x86), here's a tarball of a recent-ish rhythmbox rebuilt with this patch. I'd supply a Debian package but I didn't feel like building the documentation at the time.

I haven't found a single program for the n800 that can handle the artwork.