The Desert News - Salt Lake City, UT - 3 Stars
Nine Inch Nails - along with your brain-and-guts guy Trent
Reznor - we sure did miss you.
After five years of virtual silence, we were beginning to wonder
if you had, indeed, gotten
sucked into that "Downward Spiral." It's good to know you're still
alive and vital.
I bet you were a bit surprised your new album, "The Fragile,"
debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard
Top 200 Album Chart this past week. Then again, I bet you were
relieved you left the likes of
Barbara Streisand, former Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell,
country duo Brooks & Dunn and
former dating partner Tori Amos behind, right?
Well, you should be. "The Fragile" is one of the more important
albums to be released this year.
It's just as fresh as your scathing industrial-crank debut, "Pretty
Hate Machine," was back in 1989
when a bunch of mediocre, hair-rock bands were slowly falling off the
These past couple of months, the tiresome (and brainless)
rambles of Limp Bizkit and the
posse-posing nonsense of Kid Rock were the raves of the hard-rock
Thank you, NIne Inch Nails, for saving hard music. In fact,
maybe you timed it just right.
Maybe you knew your fans would be missing you so bad that anything you
released would sound
good. If that's true, you've outdone yourself.
"The Fragile" is a perfect second act to "Downward Spiral." It's
just as haunting, and quite
disturbing at times. And then you throw in a few new curves like those
songs of empowerment -
"We're in This Together," "No, You Don't," "La Mer" and "The Way Out
NIN, you seem to have matured. No longer do you appear suicidal.
You just seem to want
revenge. And the potshots you take at former comrade Marilyn Manson in
one of the album's cuts
is a wonderful way to reclaim the industrial throne. However, the hard
cutting edge found on "Pretty
Hate Machine" and "Downward Spiral" has been buffed a bit on this new
album. Still, you are true
to form when it comes to making music that will touch the dark, damp
corners of your
disenfranchised listeners' minds. This is the perfect album to listen
to in the afterhours of Halloween.
NIN fans are gonna love the doube-CD packaging of "The Fragile"
(which carries a deserved
parental advisory sticker). And they'll undoubtedly love the album -
even if it is more than 100
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is provided courtesy Keith Duemling and Tracy Thompson from the collection previously
located at SUS.