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Nine Inch Nails - Broken CD (album) cover

BROKEN

Nine Inch Nails

 

Crossover Prog

3.32 | 34 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars According to PA, this has Marilyn Manson on one song. I didn't know he worked with Reznor this early; the liner notes in my copy don't mention him at all. Anyway, this was the follow up to Pretty Hate Machine from 1989 and the first NIN I ever bought. I had heard PHM previously though. Before I even begin to talk about the music itself, I wanted to mention two things. First, at least the original CD versions of this had a cool foldout to them; you had to open three layers before you got to the CD itself. Still the coolest design for a CD I have ever seen. Second, this originally had 99 songs on it. Songs 7-97 just being one second of nothing each.

There was a long break between releases because Reznor was having troubles with his former label TVT Records. For Broken, NIN were now on Interscope. In between the sound became more aggressive, metallic and industrial than PHM. "Pinion" is just a short guitar noise that gets repeated and becomes louder and louder with some other noises added later on. It starts off so quiet you think there is something wrong with your speakers/headphones the first time you listen to this. I lent a friend my copy once. He told me that when he played it, he couldn't hear anything at first, so he cranked the volume up. Then when the next song "Wish" started, it was so loud he literally fell off his chair. With today's 'loudness wars' a whole generation is missing out on stuff like this.

The first time I ever heard the term "fist f*ck" was on "Wish". The verse and chorus parts are very different but compliment each other. I like the weird sounding synth in the middle. The guitar near the end is good too. "Last" has some great guitar. Always liked the line "my lips may promise but my heart is a whore". The song alternates between slower verses and faster choruses. "Help Me I Am In Hell" is a nice instrumental with echoed guitar effects.

"Happiness In Slavery" had a bizarre video for it that I think was banned on most music channels. The bass line and the sound of the bass are both awesome. I love the part in the middle with the overdubbed synth-generated machine noises. I like the looped, fast drumming that starts "Gave Up". Generally a fast and heavy song. Apparently there is some Mellotron in this song. Cool synth solo around a minute and a half.

The last two tracks are not listed on the original versions of this EP. Track 98 is a cover of the Adam & The Ants song "Physical". Track 99 is a re-recording of the song "Suck" by the Ministry side project Pigface which included Reznor. I still like Broken a lot. There was a re- mix album called Fixed that came out shortly after. All I remember about it was some of it was noisy as hell. You can barely recognize most of the songs. About as avant as NIN ever got. For this I give 3 stars.

zravkapt | 3/5 |

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