The relentless, peeled-raw throb. The coiled-tight, manic-depressive
burting at the seams.
The cooing, mewing and screeching over ambeint soundscapes. This could be
none other than Trent Reznor.
Mostly hold up in his studio since The Downward Spiral, it's rumored
Reznor became victim to his too-few forays into the
outside world. And if that ain't what happened, it certainly sounds
it. Rather than contemplate animal sexuality and self-hate, he tackles
minds in slow decay, envy, utter sadness, suicide. "Starfuckres, Inc."
steals from Carly Simon's "You're So Vain," spitting vinegar in detractors'
Reznor even takes time for sarcastic optimism on tracks like "I'm looking
forward to joining you, finally."
Fragile's Reznor is a sponge, soaking up misery like a coroner does
blood and bile.
The Fragile does take time to seep in, with woozy acoustic guitars
and still, Satie-like piano motifs countering the muted post-industrial roar.
Though Reznor's screams and gulps are clear here, it's in the quieter
moments -- the jazzy lab ambience of "Even Deeper," the buzzing horn and
bass on the Debussy beauty "La Mer" -- that he's most effective.
You can lay some of the blame on Alan Moulder and The Wall/Berlin
producer Bob Ezrin for knowing how to orchestrate morbid, self-involved
storytelling, but The Fragile is yet another chapter in Reznor's own
teary pulp fiction.
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is provided courtesy Keith Duemling and Tracy Thompson from the collection previously
located at SUS.