With today's studio technology, live albums can often be sterilized to a point where the spontaneous energy is drained out of the recording.

With today's studio technology, live albums can often be sterilized to a point where the spontaneous energy is drained out of the recording. Fortunately, this live set retains a liveliness that captures the dark and tribal celebration that is a Nine Inch Nails show. Recorded during the act's 2000 Fragility 2.0 tour, the album is primarily a "best of" set that includes faithful renditions of such hits as "Closer" and "Head Like a Hole." "Terrible Lie" and "March of the Pigs" are performed with thrilling ferocity. Some songs (such as "Gave Up" and "Wish") sound so well-tuned that, except for the sound of a cheering audience, the tracks could easily pass for studio recordings. A nine-song companion CD, Still is available as part of a special deluxe package for Could Have Been. Although not quite as compelling as Could Have Been, the second disc offers a new vocal track ("And All That Could Have Been"), more live songs, and instrumentals. —CH