Trent Reznor Pulls a Radiohead, Sort of

Photo: Courtesy of nin.com

Last night, Vulture buddy Trent Reznor shocked the world (a little) with the surprise release of a new Nine Inch Nails album, made available through his official Website, Radiohead style. After teasing fans for two weeks with cryptic messages on his blog (and by signing up with Radiohead's PR company), Trent dropped Ghosts I-IV, a 36-track record of ambient, quasi-melodic synthesizer instrumentals (woo!). We've heard it; it mostly sounds like vacuuming.

Ghosts comes with a variety of pricing options: Those interested can download the first nine tracks for free and the whole album for $5, or, in the unlikely event that they still own CD players, they can shell out $10 for the two-CD set and $75 for the deluxe edition, which includes two CDs and a couple of DVDs. Really crazy fans are invited to spend $300 on the ultradeluxe edition which includes vinyl, special artwork, and packaging autographed personally by Trent. Also, Billboard says anyone unable to connect to the Website (it's been pretty much impossible to access since last night) will be able to buy the album in stores (whatever those are) on April 8 via RED distribution. Most interesting of all, though, is that he's made the first nine tracks officially available for free through various BitTorrent sites like Pirate Bay.

Obviously, BitTorrent aside, this is a slightly less exciting surprise release than the one for In Rainbows last October, since fans are actually supposed to pay (ha!) to hear the whole record, and also because the music is just wordless synthesizer droning. Still, Trent's selling it without a label and he gets to keep all profits to himself, meaning he'll probably pocket more money off an instrumental album than any artist since Kenny G. If he moves enough copies of the ultradeluxe vinyl set, maybe next time he'll surprise us with some singing!

Ghosts [NIN.com]
New Nine Inch Nails Album Hits The Web [Billboard]
Earlier: Trent Reznor and Saul Williams Discuss Their New Collaboration, Mourn OiNK