Trent Reznor Praises David Bowie's 'The Next Day' Album

'I'm still unraveling the riddle that he presented'

Trent Reznor, David Bowie.
Baldur Bragason; Jimmy King
December 19, 2013 8:35 AM ET

If Trent Reznor were making a top 10 list for 2013, it's a good bet the Nine Inch Nails frontman would put David Bowie's latest album The Next Day at Number One. "He's proved himself so many times that I sit back and trust him," Reznor told The Hollywood Reporter. "Often, he's so far ahead of the game, it takes time to catch up."

Where Does 'The Next Day' Rank on Our 50 Best Albums of 2013 List?

Reznor acknowledges needing to catch up after first hearing The Next Day when it came out in March, while Reznor was finishing Nine Inch Nails' new album Hesitation Marks. "It didn't sound like how I thought it might sound. I thought maybe it was a bit conservative sonically," Reznor said of Bowie's first album in 10 years. The veteran rocker had announced the LP in January on his birthday, when he posted a video for the first single, "Where Are We Now?"

The more Reznor listened, though, the more he began to appreciate what Bowie was doing. "I'm still unraveling the riddle that he presented," Reznor said. "I'm still getting new meanings out of the lyrics. What I thought was conservative production now feels forward-thinking. Like any great album, it's revealed itself to be something that wasn't what I initially thought."

Although Bowie created a stir when he first announced the album, the singer kept a relatively low profile over the following weeks. He posted the occasional video (including an involved clip for "The Next Day" starring Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard), but hasn't performed in public for years. Reznor said he appreciated Bowie's marketing approach. "It wasn't like the Arcade Fire album [Reflektor] and its yearlong rollout, where it was like, 'OK, I get it. You've got an album out, you've played every TV show in the world.'"

Bowie is nominated for a pair of Grammys next year: Best Rock Album for The Next Day and Best Rock Performance for "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)," for which he made a video with Tilda Swinton in which he confronts a younger version of himself.

Nine Inch Nails' Hesitation Marks is also up for a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album.

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