I was prepared to cringe at all that 90s nihilism, my views perhaps colored by the world having gotten worse since the 90s. "GOD IIIIIS DEAD!!! AND NOOOOO ONE CAAAARES! IF THERE'S A HELL--I'LL SEEEE YOU THEEERE!" That sort of thing.
I'm on my fourth or fifth listen now, but strange as it is to say it, the worst tracks are things that deviate from the pound pound pound--"A Warm Place," "Piggy," things like that. Hell, I think my picks for the best songs are "The Becoming" (the one with the weird looping blood-curdling crowd screaming as a backdrop), "I Do Not Want This," and, God help me, "Closer." Yep, friggin' "Closer," the one song in the world I'd figured I'd outgrown, the track with the stupid line about bleep you like an animal, the track with that quintessentially godawful, stupid, stereotypically 90s video that indulged in the worst 90s video cliche of them all, parading disgusting scrawny naked people in front of the camera just for shock value. ("Heart-Shaped Box," etc., you remember all those videos), the track I thought I could only stand when being used in the opening credits of Se7en. Play it a little quieter, and it's actually pretty good.
Reznor's singing voice remains a huge, glaring weak point. I'm sorry, I can tolerate Billy Corgan, Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, all the whiners...but egads, Reznor just sounds like some kid who got locked in his room. Have lots of people always felt that way? Is that why Reznor's soundtrack work is so well received? Hell, *my* favorite Reznor work is "What If We Could," the sad instrumental bit that plays when the girl gets rejected at the end of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
I don't know that I like any NIN song here as much as "Sin" from Pretty Hate Machine, and that album sounded like friggin Depeche Mode, even twerpier and whinier than Reznor's big masterpiece (unless this isn't actually his big masterpiece.)