When Trent Reznor announced early this year that he was going to release his then latest Nine Inch Nails records Ghosts V: Together and Ghosts VI: Locusts, the news came as a welcome surprise for his fans and those of Nine Inch Nails. The albums lived up to the excitement generated over the news of their free release, with Ghosts V: Together carrying on the stylistic trend established in Ghosts I – IV, which was released approximately 12 years ago this year. Its companion, Ghosts VI: Locusts takes audiences in a completely different direction, but that is not a bad thing. This will be discussed shortly. The sequencing of those featured songs plays into the album’s presentation in its own right and will be discussed a little later. The production of the album’s featured songs puts the final touch to its presentation. It will also be discussed later. Each item noted here plays its own important part to the whole of Ghosts VI: Locusts. All things considered, they make the album in whole yet another wonderful addition to Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts “chapters.”
Nine Inch Nails’ album Ghosts VI: Locusts is a solid new addition to the bigger picture of the band’s Ghosts “chapters,” which started way back in 2008 with the extended album Ghosts I – IV. While it was released early this year alongside its companion record Ghosts V: Together, it is unlike that album and its other predecessors. That is proven in no small part through the album’s featured musical arrangements. The arrangements in question give listeners something familiar to longtime Nine Inch Nails fans but that is still unique even within the bigger picture of Nine Inch Nails’ catalog. What’s more, they remain unique in comparison to any compositions from the band’s own catalog and in comparison to works from Nine Inch Nails’ fellow electronic/industrial counterparts. At the same time, some of the record’s arrangements also take listeners back in time through the band’s catalog. ‘When It Happens (Don’t Mind Me)’ is one of those songs that takes listeners in a new direction in this record. The nearly three minute opus’ presents a stylistic approach and sound similar to that use in ‘The Perfect Drug,’ but at the same time still takes listeners in a new direction. The high pitched tones and up-tempo approach couples with the expertly placed electronics to make the composition a work that conjures thoughts of someone perhaps going through a manic episode. That is evidenced in the arrangement’s frenetic energy exuded through the whole. It is truly a unique addition to the album.
The nearly 10-minute ‘The Worriment Waltz’ is another work that takes listeners in a new direction in this album. The subtle piano line in itself does lend itself to comparisons to works featured in The Fragile. At the same time, the addition of the equally subtle, airy, distant trumpet line builds on that foundation to make for even more interest. That coupling, paired with the almost eerie keyboards and electronics, enhances the arrangement even more and takes the song into a unique second direction within the whole of the song. The way in which those directions were balanced in order to keep listeners engaged and entertained puts the finishing touch to the song. This aspect – the production of the song – will be discussed a little later. Of course, the droning sound that makes up the bulk of the song’s second half does become monotonous. That aside, the song is still a unique work what with that aspect and everything in the song’s first half.
‘Temp Fix’ is one more example of the importance of the musical arrangements featured in Ghosts VI: Locusts. Yes, the comparisons to works from The Fragile are there, but they are subtle at most. The nearly two-minute composition is one of the shortest of the album’s 80-minute-plus body. Even at such a short run, the song creates such a deep, rich emotional impact for listeners that is just as impacting as anything else that the band has ever crafted. It is just one more way in which the record’s musical arrangements prove so pivotal to its presentation. Together with the rest of the album’s arrangements, the whole of that content forms a solid foundation for the album. That foundation is strengthened more through the sequencing of those arrangements.
The sequencing of Ghosts VI: Locusts is important to discuss for more than one reason. On one hand, as noted already, the shortest song in this record comes in at just under two minutes. Its longest composition barely tops the 13-minute mark. In other words, some of the songs are super short, others are extensively long and others still are roughly average length. If one takes a close look at the songs’ run times, one will notice that the album starts on one of those mid-length works. From there, it jumps to a song that runs nearly 11 minutes. From that point on until about ‘Temp Fix,’ the album’s midpoint, the songs’ run times gradually shorten. The run times fluctuate up and down from there throughout the second half of the album, rising and falling more than once, with the longest of the second half’s songs coming in at just over 13 minutes in ‘Turn This Off Please.’ All of this amounts to clear thought put into how long each song runs.
The importance of the album’s sequencing in regards to its run times gains importance as that is considered along with the actual makeup of the arrangements. As has already been noted, some of the arrangements featured in this record are composed of multiple movements. Others are far more simple. Case in point is ‘The Worriment Waltz.’ Coming in at just under 10 minutes, the composition largely maintains listeners’ engagement and entertainment. However, as it enters its second half, does become somewhat monotonous. Luckily, the run time and content eases up from there, ensuring audiences are not turned off too much by the arrangements. Simply put, the run times of the album’s songs and their overall content are clearly connected. Reznor wanted to make sure the album had as much impact as possible. He did not just toss the songs in their randomly. Rather, everything noted was done with the fullest of intentions. That approach paid off, too. When this is considered alongside the album’s featured songs, the end result is a record that presents that much more for audiences to appreciate. Collectively, the album’s songs and their sequencing are still just one part of what makes the album so appealing. Its production rounds out its most important elements.
The production of Ghosts VI: Locusts is important to examine because, as with its companion record Ghosts V: Together, some of the songs have so much going on, while others are more simple in their approaches. The thing is that the more minimalist compositions still have a lot going on, in terms of ambience while the longer works use a lot to make them work. The more “active” songs present audiences with multiple elements. Those elements are expertly balanced, showing Reznor’s year’s of experience, with electronics, keyboards, vocals and other elements balanced so well. The simpler songs meanwhile present so much depth even with their lesser instrumentation. Reznor makes the most even of those situations and succeeds just as much as in the more complex compositions. All things considered, the production put into Ghosts VI: Locusts does just as much to make the album engaging and entertaining as its sequencing and its featured songs. Keeping all of this in mind, Ghosts VI: Locusts proves in the end to be another positive “chapter” in Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts story.
Nine Inch Nails’ latest addition to its Ghosts records Ghosts VI: Locusts is another interesting addition to the overall picture of Ghosts. Its musical arrangements take listeners in a largely new direction from those presented in Ghosts’ first five entries. At the same time it gives listeners a little something familiar to enjoy, too. The sequencing of the album’s songs takes much into consideration, including the songs’ run times and content. The album’s production brings everything full circle, completing its presentation. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album. All things considered, they make Ghosts VI: Locusts an impressive addition to Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts “story. It is available now. More information on Ghosts VI: Locusts is available along with all of Nine Inch Nails’ latest news at:
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