Hesitation Marks - Nine Inch Nails
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Universal acclaim- based on 117 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 3 out of 117

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  1. Sep 3, 2013
    Trent does it again. Delivers an awesome album, with many instant classics such as "Find my way", "Came back haunted" and "Copy Of A". The whole album is filled with details, amazing production, feels futuristic and reminds of classic NIN at the same time. Some will miss the heavy guitars, but after the rocking "The Slip", the band took exactly the opposite direction, making an almost 100% electronic album, which is a good thing, one time he's covering new ground. Buy it immediatly, in an era of saturated electronic music, this is a electronica masterpiece Expand
  2. Jul 10, 2014
    10 month after it´s release it has grown to one of my favourite nin-albums. it offers such a bassy-deep sound-structure that you are never bored. i would love to get the instrumentals too.
  3. Sep 3, 2013
    Given the singles that had come I made sure to steer clear of any other leaks to keep the album a surprise. Boy was it a pleasant surprise! so many soundscapes and so many different moods and atmospheres captured in different and exciting ways. with that signature Trent Reznor sound to the music. I was so thoroughly impressed, I love this album even after my third listen beginning to end. Trent still has it's bite and this album stands tall in the Nine Inch Nails catalog. Expand
  4. Sep 3, 2013
    Trent Reznor hasn't so openly embraced pop melodies and dance-able structures like this since 1989's Pretty Hate Machine. Hot off the heels of an Academy Award win and other score nominations, this is a record fusing dance, restrained yet sweeping vocals, and fine musicianship of Lindsay Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac), Alessandro Cortini (modwheelmood), Peter Paladins, and Adrian Belew (King Crimson).

    It's every genre but never quite any one genre per song.
  5. Jul 29, 2014
    "Hesitation Marks" is a CLASSIC Nine Inch Nails CD that stands on its own meritm
    People should stop comparing it previous releases. Trent Reznor is older now and at a happier stage of his life.
  6. Sep 27, 2013
    Having listened to this album pretty much non stop from release date, I'm still not tired of it. This is Reznor's best album since 1999's The Fragile. Boasting a more electronic sound than his last few albums, at times almost danceable, with undeniable nods to Prince at times, but still with great dark undertones. Highlights include In Two, All Time Low and Find My Way. Best album released in a year of great albums. Expand
  7. Sep 3, 2013
    one word: Awesome. come expecting to hear a new album not a new NIN old style album, experimenting and using rock, electronic and new pop tunes, melting them with industrial sounds makes this album something of mix between the fragile and pretty hate machine, with the ghost of with teeth and tds in between, great album as a whole, good NIN music. Various methods of scape! My favorite song of the album with copy of a came back haunted and I would for you, all time low and hehe, everything. Expand
  8. Sep 5, 2013
    One thing I learned after listening to Nine Inch Nails for 8 years is every album stands alone. The new album Hesitation Marks comes after front man Trent Reznor 2 EPs and a full album with his new band How to Destroy Angels and composing 2 soundtracks with his Atticus Ross. The first time I listened to his first Nine Inch Nails album in 5 years and all those projects he did in between those years seeing him go nearly full electronic did not surprise me at all, but this is a Nine Inch Nails album. One thing that stood out to me though was his voice this might have been the most range I've heard from him ever. He said in multiple interviews he was thinking of the Downward Spiral when he wrote this record and it shows, but I also heard some influences of Radiohead's Kid A (especially in the track Disappointed) and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack. Fans will probably be as much divided on this album as most their other albums especially after the reaction of hearing Everything. This album isn't like With_Teeth where its guitar dominated and you won't feel like you're going insane like the Downward Spial, but this album is great. To be honest though I've never heard Trent say he was proud of an album before, so you should be to if you've been a NIN fan for this long. If not well he probably won't care. Expand
  9. Aug 1, 2014
    I really love this new Nine Inch Nails album because of the dark overtones associated with it. I am reviewing the normal version and not the deluxe.

    The Eater Of Dreams/Copy Of A (9) This track has great use of dark electronica and it does a great job of changing the beat and tone throughout the piece to keep it dynamic. The title of the track really hits home with me on how I used to
    feel, about how I just was another person in the world and how life gets more boring the older you get.

    Came Back Haunted (9.5) I am really glad they made this song their single because of what I did see on the 0ther s!de. And I really never have been the same, especially when I walk into that bathroom. Anyway, the song has a great beat and I really hate the Jersey Shore people but it does have a good fist pumping tone to it. #Suicide #Knife #Scars #Crosses

    Find My Way (9) I think it's a great artistic touch on how Nine Inch Nails slows down the tempo of their album with this piece. The incorporation of the Piano is a great element and it reminds me of one of my favorite songs 'The Day The Whole World Went Away.' The ending of the song is my favorite part, and I'm not saying it's bad.

    All Time Low (8.5) This track is really cool I think because of the creepy beginning and how it takes off. It has a beat element of Hip Hop in it which really makes it enticing to my ear. The harmonic part of this track is my favorite part. The instrumentals that fade out the track are good.

    Disappointed (8.5) Another good track that has a Hip Hop beat incorporated within it. The grungy guitar is a good element as well I think. Reznor sounds a little whiny in the track but it's fine because that is art, and the track picks up later anyway and that's what saved the 8.5.

    Everything (8) This song is pretty good. It has a more mainstream flair than most of Nine Inch Nails's material. There is nothing that really stands out to me though. I'm not really upset about it though because they can play the guitar better than me. The incorporation of more electronica near the end really helps the track pick up.

    Satellite (9) The coolest thing about this track is the unique beat I think. It is more melodic than the tracks before it and when the electric guitar kicks it it really starts sounding really good. The chorus is also catchy and it really makes the song one of the best on the album. The ending adds a great new dimension to the song as well.

    Various Methods Of Escape (8.5) This track kicks off with another good beat to blend an alternative Rock sound with Hip Hop. The chorus is the best part of this song I think because the other parts are pretty conservative in their tones until later in the song, but the song still sounds good.

    Running (8.5) This song is interesting. Especially when the guitar part that sounds like 'electro fart!ng' in groups of two comes in. It has a dark calming sound that really adds a good track to this album. But I really despise running alot. #DanceDanceRevolution

    I Would For You (8.5) Another Nine Inch Nails track that I think is really good. The chorus is my favorite part along with heavier guitar parts that are associated with the track. The Piano incorporated at the end is also really good because Piano's have black and white keys. #YangAndYin #EndRacism

    In Two (9) The tempo on this track is really great and it is my favorite non mainstream track on the album along with Satellite. Talking about the tempo some more, it really does a great job of slowing down and speeding up which makes the track very unique because it incorporates a multitude of sounds for the listener.

    While I'm Still Here/Black Noise (8.5) This sound is great way to wrap up the album. My favorite part is the incorporation of the trumpets which gives the album a minor jazzy flair which I thought was really cool. The ending of this track(s) is very dark and mysterious and really closes the album on an evol note.
  10. Sep 3, 2013
    So close! Great album, indeed it finally feels like the proper follow up to TDS, however 'Everything' may just be one of the greatest album blunders in history.
  11. Sep 3, 2013
    I miss the angst-ridden industrial sound of the 90s, but this is very good for what it is. Satellite is the standout for this album in my opinion. Some later tracks on the album are just okay, which is why I went with an 8. If you get the deluxe version, the remixes are very weird.
  12. Sep 7, 2013
    The album overall is a very good album, with almost no poor tracks. At the same time, there are only a couple of standout tracks, but really, how many can you ask for on one album? A few problems arise in the album layout. This album has some of the poorest transitions I’ve ever heard on an album. Nearly every song ends so abruptly and the next track is something totally different. I get that not every album is a single big song, but you’d think that at this point in Reznor’s career, he’d be able to fade away or end tracks properly. Those are my thoughts, feel free to disagree. Expand
  13. Sep 10, 2013
    very good album. i have to admit i like to skip to about track 4 or 5 and then listen. seems like the best ones are the last ones on the album. i've been a fan since 1990 keep making good albums.
  14. Sep 23, 2013
    Hallucinating in high fidelity

    Took awhile to digest this album. I've always been an avid fan of NIN since Head like a hole and with each subsequent release since The downward spiral I have been disappointed even w/ The Fragile (which is my second best NIN album.

    The noughties was a bit hit and miss for Trent w/ three albums that were so-so and he announced his retirement from NIN to
    work on film projects with success (The social network/The girl w/ the dragon tattoo) and the not so successful side projects (How to destroy angels/).

    So after a 5 year hiatus Trent is back I had already heard three tracks already Came back haunted/Everything/Copy of a. I knew Trent had gone a bit more poppier but I think Everything is good and I like the optimistic approach.

    The album is more subdued and is actually best listened to on the headphones it's more in the style of HTDA. Took awhile for the songs to stick in.

    The 8bit sound on an All time low is great as is the jazzy end to While I'm still here.

    I'm not too fussed that Trent isn't angry on this record as it sounded forced on the last couple of records but the album does feel a bit too long for the ideas on board this album and it does repeat itself (quiet vocal to a build up of layered guitar).

    Lyrically the album has some atrocious moments echo stereo" anyone? It's ambiguous as well Trent going on about having nowhere to hide or running etc.

    Overall not a bad effort and it sounds like an album he should be making for the age he's at and that's no bad thing.
  15. Oct 16, 2013
    Very good album, not Nine Inch Nails best album, but is very nice. The Eater of Dreams is a perfect intro. Copy of A and Came Back Haunted are sublime.
  16. Oct 26, 2013
    Unlike the minimalist The Slip which was a spotty album at best, Hesitation Marks brings Nine Inch Nails back into the spot light effectively invoking their older style while also breaking some new ground.

    The album has a lot more emphasis on almost pop-like electronic beats (perhaps influenced by his work with How to Destroy Angels) but the darker undertones are still present
    throughout most of the tracks and each one, regardless of personal opinion, is executed with the kind of masterful technique we've come to expect from Trent Reznor. From The Eater of Dreams to Black Noise the album blends together so nicely it's almost hard to not listen to it in its entirety much like The Downward Spiral or The Fragile.

    Highlights Include:

    2. Copy of A A brilliant opening track that over the coarse of its running time effectively builds more and more momentum until it transitions you into Came Back Haunted. Once it gets you hooked you'll find yourself listening to it again and again. It's no surprise that Copy of A is their opening song on their current Tension 2013 tour (and blends into the hard-hitting 1,000,000 so well).

    3. Came Back Haunted This single really sets the stage for what Hesitation Marks is all about. Mixing that newer electronic-pop sound with the staple Nine Inch Nails undertones works well and ends up delivering a single very much in the same vein as With Teeth's Hand That Feeds, Year Zero's Survivalism, or The Slip's Discipline.

    5. All Time Low This track is probably the closest we're going to get to another Closer. While the song isn't specifically about sex the beat and style effectively captures that almost 1970s funk vibe that just screams "it's time to get down and make love".

    8. Satellite To me, there's something about this song that harks back to Year Zero. Whether or not the track is supposed to sound like it's riffing off of the whole NSA scandal it certainly feels like a nod to NIN's only real foray into politically-inspired music.

    9. Various Methods of Escape This song is easily becoming my most favorite of the entire album. On the surface it might not seem like it, but Various Methods of Escape is right up there next to Hurt, And All That Could've Been, and Something I Can Never Have in terms of being an emotionally intense and moving track that shares a deeply personal connection to Trent Reznor.
  17. Feb 15, 2014
    http://bit.ly/1gktRLU I'm hesitant to say 5 years of waiting was for a new Nine Inch Nails record was worth it. I feel Hesitation Marks is a teaser of the direction NIN is going in. This album certainly had it's ups and downs but as a whole comes up as a good album that I was expecting a bit more from.
  18. Sep 8, 2013
    Is it just me or is this NIN album more about the inner struggle of a person? It's musically appealing, and its highs are so high you'll be singing them to yourself. David Lynch, in his video for Came Back Haunted, uses the tick as a symbolic image of something that can haunt you in a very concrete way. I think it's a brilliant symbol because there's a lot of controversy about tick borne diseases, and the symbol settles the album's abstract theme in a very concrete reality. If you hesitate, it can haunt/mark you. Most of the songs seem open to that interpretation, surviving some of nature's evil and getting marked. I subtract a point from the score because the album offers no clear philosophical approach to how to deal with the issues. It just states them, as for seeking acceptance or acknowledgement. In the case of tick transferred diseases, public acknowledgement is much needed. Expand
  19. Nov 7, 2013
    For the most part, I think this album lives up to the hype pretty well. The one thing I will say is that going in I was aware that this album was slightly divisive among NIN's fanbase, and it's pretty easy to understand why. NIN's never been a 100% “rock band” due to their influential incorporation of electronics, but this is the first time (not counting Ghosts I-V) where I'd say the guitars are pushed to the background in favor of synths & drum machines. Sure there's some great guitar work here & there, like the awesome riff in the bridge of “Came Back Haunted” or the dissonant leads in “All Time Low”, but most of these tracks are driven by layers upon layers of electronic melodies & eclectic sounds. There's also significantly less of that visceral angst & anger that gave previous albums a certain rough chaotic edge; it's especially notable compared to previous album The Slip, which was characterized mostly by raw, unpolished & free-flowing rock instrumentation. Hesitation Marks on the other hand is an album that's controlled, layered & calculated to the last decimal point. Sure that means it doesn't have the same energy as the earlier work, but that also makes it more appealing from a compositional standpoint. Most songs here have a pretty similar musical formula, but for me it's at least engaging enough from track to track to be justified. A perfect example of this is “Came Back Haunted”, with its mix of intricate electronic beats, pulsating bassy synths, and a consistent mid-tempo groove that carries the song along nicely & keeps it interesting. It also helps that there are infectious melodies stacked on infectious melodies. There are also a couple notable departures from this “sound”, like “Everything” & the R&B-influenced “Satellite”.

    By far the most polarizing song here is “Everything”, a driving alt-rocker with triumphant singalong melodies & a generally optimistic message about Reznor celebrating the fact that he's overcome all the crap & problems life's thrown at him over the years. It's a refreshing move for a guy that could've very easy phoned in angst on this whole album just to keep the overly nostalgic perpetual Gen-X-ers in his fanbase happy. That actually seems to be a recurring theme on Hesitation Marks lyrically: self-analysis & introspection. On tracks like “All Time Low”, “Find My Way” & “Came Back Haunted” he details in cryptic but intelligible terms his struggles with drugs, anger & depression throughout the last couple decades and how grateful he is that he came out of it in one piece. Even when it's not quite as bluntly positive as “Everything”, there's a subtle victorious & even slightly uplifting running theme on these topics that's expressed effectively but doesn't feel preachy in the slightest. Also, for those looking for the more political themes of albums like Year Zero or to a lesser extent With Teeth, you can't go wrong with “Copy of a” or “Disappointed”, which is about conceding to political nihilism & pessimism in terms of governmental improvement.

    Honestly, if I went just by what I said here, I'd be tempted to call this possibly NIN's best album to date. But to me, the thing that holds it back from flawlessness is how front-loaded it is. It drops in quality for me after “Satellite” to what I feel are, despite a couple exceptions like “I Would for You” and the very classic-sounding “In Two” (as well as “While I'm Still Here” to some extent), a handful of meandering afterthoughts that don't have nearly the same impact as the first half. I think Trent would've been better off going the route of The Slip by making a solid collection of 10 tracks that gets the job done effectively without bloating in length to over an hour. That being said, this is still a very rewarding comeback album. Any fan of previous NIN stuff should definitely give this a listen, since it's a very interesting progression in the discography.

    Top 5 tracks: Find My Way, Came Back Haunted, Everything, Satellite, Copy of a
    Score: 79/100
  20. Sep 3, 2013
    "Sonic train wreck" is how I like to describe The Downward Spiral. And while Hesitation Marks is definitely "sonic," I felt I was often waiting in vain for the trademark "wall of sound" to hit my headphones like it often felt it should... and they simply do not come. Most songs pretty much stay "safe" from beginning to end, and there are none of those blissfully angst ridden sucker punches that blew your mind as a college freshman. I'm okay with a happier, fitter, more productive Trent Rezner. But I'm also wishing this album could get just a bit dirtier once in a while. All in all, it's a return to form and offers the intricate sonic layering you come to expect on the best of NIN. Good album. But still.... too safe. Expand
  21. Sep 11, 2013
    I feel like I really like a little under 3/4 of the songs on this album a lot. A lot of the songs I don't like as much are on the second half, and the reason why I don't like them is because they contain elements that I find repetitive. Overall I do very much enjoy the album, and I think Nine Inch Nails fans should buy it. I'm still digging into it, so maybe my opinion of those songs will change. Anyway, the first half in itself up until the song, Everything, makes this worth a purchase. Expand
  22. Sep 14, 2013
    The most electronic-driven album since Pretty Hate Machine in 1989, some great songs are let down at times by outdated-sounding electronic sections, which sometimes work and sometimes don't. It's good, but certainly not great.
  23. Sep 3, 2013
    Is this a bad album? No.
    Is this a good album? Sure.
    Is it a great album? No.
    Is it a Nine Inch Nails album? No!
    Gone are the type of songs from albums such as Pretty Hate Machine or Downward Spiral or The Fragile or With Teeth that had hard hitting personality riding passenger to those awesome Trent Reznor yells! So what, he's "no longer angry"! If you're not a band in the traditional
    sense, and NIN never was, then you don't have to call this a new "Nine Inch Nails" album. Nothing wrong with calling this the new "Trent Reznor" album. That's what it is to me. Not the Nine Inch Nails that changed the medium. Expand
  24. Jul 21, 2014
    If this was a debut, I would say the album was good but he has far more potential.
    A couple of good tracks, but nothing moving or very memorable.. just rather bland, with some cringeworthy lyrics at times. Come back Haunted was the first track I had heard, which was a rather Trent-by-numbers generic first attempt at a new single.

    Did I really care if this album sounded less like the
    NIN of old? Not at all. I just cared if I lost interest, which I did at times. I believe a shorter album would have given more of an impact. Something felt missing, and no, I don't mean guitars, but it felt like a compilation of b-sides more than anything.
    Unlike some bands however Trent still shows more experimenting with a wider range of instruments and is honest by questioning himself where he is going in his music and as to whether he truly has become a copy of a copy of a copy... ;)
  25. Sep 7, 2013
    No one who likes electronic music can take this album seriously: it sounds incredibly outdated and, at times, amateurish, when it comes to the electronic patterns in the background. That being said, Hesitation Marks has a beautiful timing it manages to consistently do the right thing at the proper time, shifting pace and saturation whenever it is necessary. For this reason it is best to listen to it from beginning to end, without skipping between tracks (despite some of them, like I Would For You, being enjoyable even out of context). Expand
  26. Nov 19, 2013
    Not a bad album by any means. However, it's far from great. Wasn't a massive fan of any particular song on this album and quite a few of them felt a bit repetitive. If you're a fan of the band I'm sure you'll enjoy it though.
  27. Sep 20, 2013
    Hesitation Marks isn't industrial, and it's not really comparable in quality to earlier NIN albums. It lacks the harsh edge that made everything between Pretty Hate Machine and With Teeth so great. Most importantly I want you to know that it isn't another The Fragile like I've seen some people comment online. That is delusional.

    Overall Hesitation Marks is a bit too repetitive and feels
    generic given the unique sounds found on earlier NIN albums. What I loved about Trent's earlier work was his ability to evoke visceral emotions. Hesitation Marks is catchy but I don't actually feel anything listening to it. One thing that ticks me off is that the darkest and best track on the album is that freekin outro and it only lasts a minute and a half. It's a complete tease. It's like the album finally start to feel like it's getting somewhere awesome and then it just ends.

    Don't bother with the extended version. 2x the cost for 3 weak remixes wasn't worth it. The album art was nice though.

    It's better than Ghosts I-IV, but a weaker installment in the NIN discography.
  28. Jan 22, 2014
    "Closer" was the only thing i ever heard from them. And it was a blast. However, this is their first album i hear, and it's not. It has an 'okay' dose of good tracks with rhythmic music, but not as good or powerful as i expected. But i'm still checking out their earlier work, especially in the 90s.
  29. CFM
    Oct 15, 2013
    Hesitation Marks, is as boring as hell It's no Pretty Hate Machine and has certainly gone downward Spiral. Song structures as basic, glitch drums, bit of singing, bit of synth noise, bit more singing, the end! What makes it worse some of the vocal lines boarder on the cringed worthy. You have to wait to near the end of the album to get anything like a decent NIN song but by that time all interest has vanished into a haze of nothingness. NIN fans will not like this review, as Trent is untouchable but NIN has no relevance today. Trent give up NIN and make film music. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Jan 27, 2014
    Five years away hasn't damaged their ability to wow and Hesitation Marks puts Trent Reznor's soundtrack albums into context; here, he sounds at his very best and right where he belongs. [Oct 2013, p.108]
  2. 70
    The techno-noir sonic palette here is as eclectic as ever. [Oct 2013, p.90]
  3. Oct 18, 2013
    It was a given that Hesitation Marks would provide Nine Inch Nails with a future. But what's so impressive here is that it's given then a future every bit as promising as their illustrious past. [31 Aug 2013, p.52]