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Nine Inch Nails - Broken CD (album) cover

BROKEN

Nine Inch Nails

 

Crossover Prog

3.58 | 52 ratings

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CassandraLeo
5 stars At the time of Nine Inch Nails' now-classic EP Broken, band leader Trent Reznor was in the midst of a protracted legal battle with his record company, who demanded that the follow-up recording be in a similar style to his debut, Pretty Hate Machine. This was the first of many difficulties Reznor faced with record companies that would ultimately lead to his going independent for several years, and this record could hardly have sounded more different from its predecessor. It's a scathing blast of white-hot rage full of screams and dissonance, and it's just plain heavier than anything else Reznor has released before or since (except maybe the remixes of this album found on Fixed).

In terms of quality, this record represents Reznor's first unqualified classic. "Wish" deservedly won a Grammy Award (Reznor joked that he wanted his gravestone to read "Said 'fist f#%k', won a Grammy"), and the rest of the album lives up to the quality of this track. The only let-up in intensity until the bonus tracks is the brief instrumental "Help Me I Am in Hell", which maintains a similar mood as the rest of the EP but turns the volume down. It also presages the direction Reznor would take on the following albums.

The two songs at the end are somewhat more light-hearted than the rest of the EP, especially the Adam and the Ants cover "Physical (You're So)". Reznor makes this song and the Pigface cover "Suck" his own, and they help to make the EP more than an unrelenting blast of rage. But as far as that particular emotion goes, Reznor has never topped it.

CassandraLeo | 5/5 |

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