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2005.05.14

[Understanding_Teeth_1.0]

So here at Wearing These Chains, it's become pretty clear over the last couple weeks to both myself and the other person whose-name-I'm-not-going-to-mention-because-she's-being-shitty that though everybody is totally loving how awesome the new nine inch nails album [With_Teeth] is, some people are confused about what stuff means on the record. "Is this song about Trent's girlfriend", we've been hearing, or "I'm confused. What's in that net Trent's talking about in 'the collector'?"

In order to help, we're going to be going through the album and explain what's being talked about, so you can better enjoy your experience of listening to the new NIN record. (We also recommend downloading the official PDF with lyrics and artwork from the official website -- but you'll need your store bought CD to get it!)

But without further adieu, here's the first installment of Understanding Teeth.

all the love in the world

We all know how many problems Trent has had with God over the years -- going all the way back to "Terrible Lie". He even says "God is Dead" in the song "Heresy" from The Downward Spiral (read up on Friedrich Nietzsche if you want to know more about God being dead). You might think that this new record is the first time that Trent hasn't talked about God on one of his albums -- you'd be wrong. "All the Love in The World" is a song written about God himself!!!

The song starts with "Watching all the insects march along, seem to know just right where they belong." This is Trent describing what it's like for God up in Heaven, looking down at everybody on Earth. We're small and teeny like insects, but we seem to have a purpose. And God's jealous. "Smears of face reflecting in the chrome, hiding in the crowd I'm all alone" is yes, you guessed it, people looking at a crucifix, and seeing the reflection of God in it. But He's really just hanging out on Earth, looking at all of us people, feeling lonely because just like us he can feel lonely and sad sometimes too (Man was made in the Lord's image, remember?)

Next up God talks a little bit about how things aren't going so good in the world today -- "No one's heard a single word I've said, they don't sound as good outside my head." Given holy wars and molestation in the church, I can see why He's feeling that way. "Looks as though the past is here to stay I've become a million miles away" is obviously comparing todays situations in the Middle East (terrorists, Jerusalem, etc.) with the holy war Crusades of old (they talk about this a little in the new Orlando Bloom movie, but other than that the movie sucks. Don't go see it).

Then Trent jumps in for the chorus, looking at God and wondering "Why do you get all the love in the world?" Because seriously God -- You're having as bad a time as everybody else; why do You get all the worship and fame? Even the piano part there sounds like something you might hear at Church.

"All the jagged edges disappear, Colors all look brighter when you're near." I'm not sure what this part means, but I think it might be related to Joseph, who according to this piece of work I was in in high school had a coat made with many different colored pieces of cloth (that all look brighter when you're near, perhaps?) Of course, "All the stars afire in the sky, Sometimes I get so lonely I could", the lyrics that follow, are all about the birth of Jesus (or "the birth of Jesus" as we're told it happened). A big bright fire in the sky that they called The Star of Bethlehem lit up the night sky, and God's son was born, so God wouldn't be lonely anymore. To take a figure like God, and make Him feel the same loneliness and sadness that we all do is totally brilliant, I think, and it makes the song even more powerful.

Then everything changes, and the music becomes a big piano jammy jam, with Trent singing in a multitude of different harmonies and voices "Why do you get all the love in the world?" The music is upbeat, and hand-clapping; it sounds, in fact, like a Baptist revival. Is this a coincidence? I don't think so.

So does this mean that Trent Reznor suddenly loves God? I don't think so -- I think if anything it just means that he's saying, "Hey, God's a person too. He's going to have a hard time. We're all in the same boat. And you shouldn't make anybody better than anybody else, or think that they're better than you, because we're all the same."

That's what the song means to me -- I hope it means something to you too!


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Comments

Gabriel, you have truly outdone yourself. Holy Hell, that was brilliant. I almost saw Jesus while I was reading about it.

I'm sorry I was shitty about Alex. I was only trying to help.

Posted by: Dierdre | May 14, 2005 9:50:51 PM

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

Posted by: etryer | May 16, 2005 4:08:51 PM

What a bunch of total fucking crap. This blog has got to be the most incredibly stupid bullshit on any of the internets. I'll bet you're even a fucking republican. Give it up- already. You have no idea what TR is talking about, because you're probably a fat, spotty, teenaged moron.

Fuck you.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2005 4:49:23 PM

I want to skin you alive, unknown, and tattoo American flags all over your soft tissue. You piss punk yuppie scum. You know nothing but the light of your weakness. I own you.

Posted by: Tormented_Soul_3 | May 19, 2005 6:54:20 PM

this post has been loved tenderly.

Posted by: | Mar 9, 2006 7:24:12 PM

Awww, how sweet! I love this post, too. Fucking Gabriel. That guy is a genius.

Posted by: Dierdre | Mar 9, 2006 9:29:27 PM

Well now that we know that Gabe isn't a teenager...and from the pic of his face he doesn't seem really fat...the only other thing to clear up is: Does he have spots? And if so is he spotty like a dalmation or the Misfit Toys spotted elephant?

Posted by: Iris | Mar 9, 2006 10:00:11 PM

Gabriel is spotted in exactly the way that Gerard Hopkins means when he says "Glory be to God for dappled things--".

Sweet Jesus, did I just mention an Victorian Jesuit poet on WTC? I think I did. Moreover, Gerard would roll over in his grave.

Sorry, Gerard.

Posted by: Dierdre | Mar 10, 2006 12:18:28 AM

Don't even ask why I'm awake right now...you MUST see this. This is the MOST WRONG thing ever made. I nearly died!!!

Posted by: maise | Mar 10, 2006 2:22:34 AM

eeeehh...pretty creepy Maise. But I think it would have been funnier if they had used the music from Brokeback Mountain. There are all kinds of parodies of that one right now.

Posted by: Iris | Mar 10, 2006 5:13:29 AM

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