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Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile CD (album) cover


Nine Inch Nails


Crossover Prog

3.96 | 115 ratings

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3 stars "ugliness in its most beautiful form"

A snippet from a RYM review I read that seems to be a good overview for this sprawling double-disc set of unease, tension, and pain. I largely ignored NIN in the 90s choosing to instead sooth my nerves with Rage Against The Machine, though I really can't stomach the depths of their juvenile politics anymore. As I began to immerse into "The Fragile" it took some time to seep into my pores. It really wasn't until some recent painful episodes sunk me into numbness that this stuff hit me hard, with its oddly beautiful and somehow soothing mix of rage and disquiet. Sprawling is the right word and Fragile feels like one of those slightly off-kilter double albums which catch an artist in a state of limbo, in the way titles like The White Album and Boys For Pele do. Not quite the best single work of the artist perhaps, but the fascinating black sheep of the catalog. The industrial/electronic rage-rock is presented with lots of pretentious, proggy, and artsy dressing. From brooding softer pieces bordering on ambient music to the expected rage, there are lots of cool strings, piano, atmospheric guitar (even Adrian Belew!), and choirs. The themes all revolve around darkness and pain, of people falling apart, calling for help, one emotional train wreck after another. Musically there is not quite enough of the open ended stuff for my tastes however, many of the tracks lock into a repetitive verse/chorus style that while nice and heavy, doesn't please that side of me which enjoys the unpredictable. While certainly respectable and of good quality it is not the kind of album I want to return to often. That's probably a good thing.

"tried to save myself but myself keeps slipping away"

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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