Volume 95, Issue 10

Tuesday, September 18, 2001
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The new Plan calls for an ass kickin' good time

The Glass House shatters

Keanu gets it right in the 'hood

Hissy Fit: adding a little spunk to punk

Don't be silenced by tragedy

Tielli solo is a no-go

This is for sure, tweaker rocks

This is for sure, tweaker rocks


The Attraction to All Things Uncertain

Six Degrees Records

Four 1/2 stars (out of five)

Chris Vrenna's first solo album is an impressive debut for the former member of Nine Inch Nails. The album explores a diverse range of musical alleyways, focusing on the electronic realm.

Opening strong with "Linoleum," Vrenna and guest vocalist David Sylvian create a beautiful alternative track. Vrenna's lyrics, as sung by Sylvian, claim "I've really just about lost all control."

The struggle for control and the loss thereof, may ring a bell with NIN fans, as it is a recurring theme in Trent Reznor's music. The inclusion of such themes in Vrenna's album attests to the deeply-rooted NIN influence that will always be part of tweaker.

The varying stylistic techniques are emphasized by comparing such tracks as "Tuned," a short piece that invites the listener to get up and dance, with more ethereal tracks like "Full Cup of Coffee" which almost subdues the listener with its funeral overtones.

Vrenna also faces the issue of religion head-on: "Happy Child" tells the story of a boy who doesn't understand Jesus and is trying to cope with the meaning of life and the possibility of an afterlife. The child's state of self-imposed denial becomes clear with the lyrics, "you won't die/because I don't think death's real."

Attraction is reminiscent of a movie soundtrack, only the movie in this case is Chris Vrenna's life. The majority of the tracks are strictly instrumental and Vrenna's ability to convey intense feelings without the assistance of lyrics adds to the unique appeal of tweaker.

In places uplifting, while at others almost tragic, this album is Vrenna: on his own and at his best.

–Megan O'Toole

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Copyright The Gazette 2001