Atticus Ross

Album Review: Halsey- If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power

Halsey: If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power Album Review | Pitchfork

As far back as I can remember I’ve had a disdain for pop music. There way it’s all manufactured and put together really drives me nuts, especially in the last 20 years. The word artist gets used way too much in pop music when these people are glorified performers rather than true artists. Though, along the way, there are a few that have been able to carve their own paths and stray away from the generic norms of the pop world. A couple years back my friend played a song for me without telling me anything about it. After the song was over, I quite intrigued by it. The song was “Nightmare” by Halsey and it was great. There was something different about her and I had to know more. Fast forward to now and the release of her new album, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, and now I can’t get enough.

If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is a tour de force of an album. Having Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross producing and at the helm, has escalated Halsey into a whole other realm. In a recent interview, Halsey had mentioned that working with Trent Reznor had been a dream of hers for years. Speaking on the direction of the album, Halsey said, “I wanted really cinematic sort of, not horror specifically, but kind of just really unsettling production.” Working with Trent and Atticus has brought in a real element of danger into the fold and genre bending to the pop world. When you listen to this album, you can hear Halsey in her natural element.

This album is unique in that there is not really any “hits” on it. There are catchy chorus’s and elements that are hooks but, it’s definitely not what you expect. There is an intensity and vulnerability throughout the album that radiates and burns ever so bright. Each song brings has it’s own identity. The deep exploratory personal lyrics permeate throughout. The conceptual elements of the album tie it all together in a way that most pop “artists” would shy away from but not Halsey. Instead, this is a head first dive into the psyche and realizations of someone who has finally found a sense of bliss and happiness through all the madness. The gothic undertones along with industrial tinges, atmospheric sounds, mixed with live instrumentation (something that is greatly missing from pop music) and soaring raw vocals, makes for one hell of a listening experience. There are so many songs on this album that I enjoy. At the moment, “Tradition,” “Easier Than Lying,” “You Asked For This,” “Honey,” “I’m Not A Woman. I’m A God,” and “The Lighthouse” are my favorite tracks. I would go in depth on them but, as I’ve said on other reviews, I don’t want to give or take anything away from your own listening experience.

If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is one of the best albums of 2021. It offers something new in a genre that has grown stale, boring and predictable. By having Trent and Atticus come aboard and direct this album and bring out all these things to the pop world, will hopefully shift a change for the good. The production is similar in some spots to Trent and Atticus’s How To Destroy Angels project as well as incorporating elements they’ve learned from their film scoring career. The album also features some real heavy hitters like Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters (plays on Honey), Lindsay Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac (plays on Darling) Dave Sitek from TV On The Radio (plays on You Asked For This), and Pino Paladino (plays on Lilith). Halsey has made an album that not only can she be proud of but, can look back 20 years from now and it will be looked at as a game changer for pop music. If more pop artists were like Halsey and were willing to try new things outside the box and show this side of themselves, there could be a whole new revolution within pop music.

Overall Rating: A


Halsey- If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power:


Halsey- Nightmare:

New Release: Halsey- If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power

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This one is definitely out of left field one for some of you but, this new album by Halsey is quite remarkable. Her new album, If I Can’t Have Love I Want Power is a tour de force of so many emotions. The album was produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and features Halsey at her most vulnerable yet. This is the way pop artists should evolve. You can tell that this collaboration between Halsey, Trent and Atticus is a modern match made in heaven. One listen all the way through the album and you will instantly start it again because you want to go back to all the things you might have missed. This is one hell of an album and it should be noted as such. A full review will come next week but, until then, enjoy this album.


Halsey- If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power:

Memorable Live Performances: Nine Inch Nails at The Wiltern 2009

Nine Inch Nails @ the Wiltern in LA (9/10/09) | San Francisco Bay Area  Concerts

Back in 2009, Nine Inch Nails announced a series of shows to sort of say goodbye for the time being. It was a very bittersweet thing to hear but, as a fan for many many many years, it made sense. Before the shows were announced, Nine Inch Nails spent the summer on the road with Jane’s Addiction (with all the original members). That was origianlly supposed to be the end but, seeing as Nine Inch Nails would be playing at different times and under the backdrop of a sunset many a times, it just didn’t feel quite right for that to be the end. Instead, a series of shows were announced in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to attend 3 of the 4 Los Angeles shows. The final one was at The Wiltern and what a show it was. Over 3 hours (yes, THREE HOURS) of nonstop Nine Inch Nails at it’s absolute finest. The setlist was utterly perfect and beyond emotional. Thankfully too, there were a group of fans in the audience that night filming it all and they put together one of the best live shows I’ve ever been to. Without giving anything away, I highly recommend you taking the time to watch/listen to this show!


Nine Inch Nails- Live At The Wiltern:

Great Music Videos: How To Destroy Angels- The Space In Between

How to Destroy Angels (Mariqueen Maandig, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross) |  Angel band, Trent reznor, Good music

This past year has been quite a ride. Through all the craziness though, a couple good things have been able to happen. For example, with all the time and working from home, I’ve been able to delve back into albums I haven’t listened to in a while. And within that, I’ve been able to show my young daughter some really great tunes and videos. One of which is this great video from How To Destroy Angels for the song “The Space In Between.” The video, directed by Rupert Sanders (who is primarily known for creating video game advertisements) is a very dark and interesting video that harks back to the days when videos were great. This is one hell of a great video and should be viewed a lot more!!


How To Destroy Angels- The Space In Between:

Cover Songs: Trent Reznor (David Bowie)- Fantastic Voyage & Fashion

Trent Reznor Covered "Fantastic Voyage" & "Fashion" For David Bowie Tribute  Livestream: Watch

A couple days ago there was a huge David Bowie celebration. Tons of artists took part in this by performing Bowie’s songs. A good portion of these performances were accompanied by Mike Garson, David’s longtime piano player. Among the people performing on this night were, Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, Dave Navarro, Ian Astbury, Gavin Rossdale, Corey Taylor, Taylor Hawkins and so many more. I saw a few of these performances floating around and there were 2 that really stood out to me. It’s no surprise that the ones Trent Reznor performed were my favorite. He picked “Fantastic Voyage” from Bowie’s album, Lodger as well as “Fashion” from Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). He was joined by Mike Garson and Atticus Ross on both songs along with his wife Mariqueen on the latter. Both of these turned out great. I do have to say that Trent’s dance moves during “Fashion” are quite fun to watch.


Fantastic Voyage & Fashion:

Collaborations: Nine Inch Nails with Peter Murphy of Bauhaus

Reptile" live 6.23.06. Trent Reznor, Peter Murphy, Atticus Ross ...

I woke up this morning in a very Nine Inch Nails kind of mood. While going through my routine when that happens (One day I’ll explain what it all entails), I remembered there was a really cool collaboration that occurred in 2006 between Nine Inch Nails and Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy. At the time, Bauhaus was opening for NIN on the second leg of the With Teeth tour. During this time, there were special radio broadcasts they did together. Here are a handful of these wonderful collaborations.

 

Reptile:

 

 

A Strange Kind Of Love:

 

 
Nightclubbing:

 

 

 

Warm Leatherette:

 

 

 

Head Like A Hole:

 

 

Dead Souls:

 

 

Hurt:

 

New Release: Nine Inch Nails- Ghosts V: Together & Ghosts VI: Locusts

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Today, saw a surprise release of two new Ghosts albums from Nine Inch Nails. In a statement released by Trent and Atticus, they had this to say about the release.

“FRIENDS-

WEIRD TIMES INDEED…

AS THE NEWS SEEMS TO TURN EVER MORE GRIM BY THE HOUR, WE’VE FOUND OURSELVES VACILLATING WILDLY BETWEEN FEELING LIKE THERE MAY BE HOPE AT TIMES TO UTTER DESPAIR – OFTEN CHANGING MINUTE TO MINUTE. ALTHOUGH EACH OF US DEFINE OURSELVES AS ANTISOCIAL-TYPES WHO PREFER BEING ON OUR OWN, THIS SITUATION HAS REALLY MADE US APPRECIATE THE POWER AND NEED FOR CONNECTION.

MUSIC – WHETHER LISTENING TO IT, THINKING ABOUT IT OR CREATING IT – HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE THING THAT HELPED US GET THROUGH ANYTHING – GOOD OR BAD. WITH THAT IN MIND, WE DECIDED TO BURN THE MIDNIGHT OIL AND COMPLETE THESE NEW GHOSTS RECORDS AS A MEANS OF STAYING SOMEWHAT SANE.

GHOSTS V: TOGETHER IS FOR WHEN THINGS SEEM LIKE IT MIGHT ALL BE OKAY, AND GHOSTS VI: LOCUSTS… WELL, YOU’LL FIGURE IT OUT.

IT MADE US FEEL BETTER TO MAKE THESE AND IT FEELS GOOD TO SHARE THEM. MUSIC HAS ALWAYS HAD A WAY OF MAKING US FEEL A LITTLE LESS ALONE IN THE WORLD… AND HOPEFULLY IT DOES FOR YOU, TOO. REMEMBER, EVERYONE IS IN THIS THING TOGETHER AND THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AGAIN SOON.
BE SMART AND SAFE AND TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER.

WITH LOVE,
TRENT & ATTICUS

 

DOWNLOAD LINK: https://store.nin.com/products/ghosts-digital-download

 

Nine Inch Nails- Ghosts V: Together & Ghosts VI: Locusts:

 

Cover Songs: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (David Bowie)- Life On Mars

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If you’ve been watching the new HBO series Watchmen like I have, you are probably pretty enamored by the music as well as the show. As most of you know, David Bowie is/was a huge inspiration to Trent Reznor. Trent and Atticus’s cover of Bowie’s “Life On Mars” is quite a somber yet contemplative version. Plus with it being instrumental, it gives off a much deeper vibe. This will be available on Volume 3 of the Watchmen score which comes out December 16.

 

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross- Life On Mars:

 

Deep Cuts: Nine Inch Nails- Getting Smaller

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I love this topic. It’s a lot of fun to showcase a song at a time that deserve their due. As I’m sure over time, you’ve all come to realize that Nine Inch Nails is my all time favorite band. Through the years, Trent has written some pretty amazing songs and a lot of them have never really gotten the attention the deserve. One such song I’d like to highlight is “Getting Smaller” from 2005’s With Teeth. I still remember hearing this song for the first time and thinking to myself, what a great song this is, and as time went on I kept thinking why wasn’t this song a single or a live staple. Something fun about this song is that the drums on this track were played by the one and only Dave Grohl. This song too, is one of the best songs on With Teeth. I truly hope that when Nine Inch Nails comes back around to touring again, this song makes the set list.

Nine Inch Nails- Getting Smaller:

 

Live Review: Nine Inch Nails at The Palladium

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When a band as big as Nine Inch Nails opts to play small venues and do multiple nights, you know that it’s going to be special. Back in 2009, I was lucky to get to go to a few of the Wave Goodbye shows Nine Inch Nails did in Los Angeles. I was able to go to the Wiltern, Fonda and Palladium shows. Each of those nights have always stood out in my concert going history. The Palladium show that evening was special as The Downward Spiral was played in its entirety. Last night didn’t have that happen but it was one of those shows that rank pretty high in my now 18 times seeing Nine Inch Nails.

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