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Nine Inch Nails

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Nine Inch Nails Things Falling Apart album cover
3.41 | 25 ratings | 2 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Slipping Away (6:11)
2. The Great Collapse (4:42)
3. The Wretched (Keith Hillebrandt mix) (5:52)
4. Starfuckers, Inc. (Adrian Sherwood mix) (5:11)
5. The Frail (Benelli mix) (2:47)
6. Starfuckers, Inc. (Dave Ogilvie mix) (6:06)
7. Where Is Everybody? (Danny Lohner mix) (5:07)
8. Metal (7:05)
9. 10 Miles High (Keith Hillebrandt mix) (5:11)
10. Starfuckers, Inc. (Charlie Clouser mix) (5:09)

Total Time 53:21

Line-up / Musicians

- Adrian Belew / guitars
- Heather Bennet / backing vocals
- Clinton Bradley / programming
- Buddha Boys Choir / choir, chorus, chant
- Buddha Debutante Choir / backing vocals
- Di Coleman / backing vocals
- Charlie Clouser / programming, atmosphere, synthesizers
- Melissa Daigle / backing vocals
- Paul DeCarli / programming
- Jerome Dillon / drums
- Mike Garson / piano
- Page Hamilton / guitars
- Tracy Hardin / backing vocals
- Keith Hillebrandt / programming, choir, chorus, sound design
- Danny Lohner / drum programming, ambiance, synthesizers, guitar
- Clint Mansell / choir, chorus
- Trent Reznor / vocals, guitars, cello, piano, synthesizers, programming
- Elquine Rice / backing vocals
- Terry Rice / backing vocals
- Bill Rieflin / drums
- Barbara Wilson / backing vocals
- Leslie Wilson / backing vocals
- Steve Duda / programming, choir, chorus, percussion, violin
- Eric Edmonson / choir, chorus
- Cherry Holly / trumpet
- Doug Idleman / choir, chorus
- Marcus London / choir, chorus
- Denise Milfort / vocals
- Judy Miller / backing vocals
- Gary I. Neal / backing vocals
- Matthew Nicholls / backing vocals
- Christine Parrish / backing vocals
- Adam Persaud / choir, chorus
- Martha Prevost / vocals
- M. Gabriela Rivas / backing vocals
- Nick Scott / choir, chorus
- Rodney Sulton / backing vocals
- Stefani Taylor / backing vocals
- Nigel Wiesehan / choir, chorus
- Willie / cello
- Mason Kemmer / violin, donair supplier
- Martha Wood / backing vocals
- Alan Moulder
- Keith Hillebrandt
- Adrian Sherwood
- Benelli
- Dave Ogilvie
- Danny Lohner
- Telefon Tel Aviv
- Charlie Clouser

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
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NINE INCH NAILS Things Falling Apart ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (28%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NINE INCH NAILS Things Falling Apart reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chicapah
3 stars In my book there are three essential qualities that determine whether or not I consider an artist or band to be a true purveyor of progressive rock music. They must be creative. They must be unorthodox. And they must be honest. Without even one of those components they inevitably come up short. They may be a lot of things but they ain't prog. Therefore Trent Reznor and his collective, malleable and ever-changing group known as Nine Inch Nails are a perfect fit for this site. I understand completely if their brand of aural art is about as enjoyable for you as third degree rope burns but the fact remains that they're undeniably playing in a league of their own. I've personally been intrigued by what they produce since I first heard them in the late 80s and thought "Holy smokes! This is definitely not Peter Frampton." Now, I'll admit that NIN's music isn't what I would choose to wind down from a frustrating, tolerance-testing bread & milk run to Walmart nor is it something I listen to regularly, for that matter. But when I'm in the right mood they scratch what itches in me in a way no other entity can and there's a lot to be said for that. I still consider "The Downward Spiral" to be the closest they've come to manufacturing a masterpiece (they missed the coveted fifth star by a millimeter) but they're always consistently rebellious and remarkably unafraid of failure with every work they release whether it's an album or a collection of remixes as is "Things Falling Apart." They don't hold anything back, that's for sure, as they shamelessly make available their handiwork for all to hear and ponder. I kinda like that attitude. Throw it all out there and let the masses sort it out as they please.

This disc opens with the best of the bunch, "Slipping Away." A thunderous beat that sounds like Wreck-it Ralph pounding on the roof sets up a tension-filled atmosphere. Trent and some guy named Alan Moulder did the mixing honors on this song and the one that follows (others did the others) and they patiently build up a collage of guitar and synth riffs before introducing the funky verse section structured around Reznor's anguished repeating of the tune's title. The monstrous bass frequencies they fill the basement with will rattle your sporran. What really intrigues me about this cut is how it manages to convey a relatively simple idea while being highly complex on another level at the same time. "The Great Collapse" is next and it drifts in mysteriously led by some basic piano chords. Soon drums appear sporting a strong beat pattern, traveling underneath a bank of assorted sequenced noises. There's no vocal until the end when Trent warbles a few lines of "This is what it feels like!" but the spare approach does achieve its desired effect. "The Wretched" is also a highlight of the proceedings. A pulsating drone starts things off and persists while Reznor chants "But it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to." Jarringly the drums barge in and forcibly drive the track hard and then an ascending, infectious guitar riff takes over. In the last segment the drums become muffled, adding suspense to the strange aura they've erected. What comes next is the first of three alternate versions of a tune from "The Fragile" album. "Starf**kers, Inc. (Sherwood)" features ominous air-raid sirens wailing over a wild episode of electronic warfare that ensues amidst shouts of the song's not-so-subtle moniker. (Debasing groupies is nothing new. The Rolling Stones included a number containing the same graphic theme on their '73 LP, "Goats Head Soup.") While the overall aura is intense it isn't all that compelling.

"The Frail" offers an interesting change of pace moment by having a real string section flow atop rotating synth notes as well as an odd menagerie of sampled incidentals that dart in and out like fireflies. Brief but intriguing. "Starf**kers, Inc. (Ogilvie)" curiously begins as if it were some kind of modern day pop ditty, then it rapidly descends into a hellish disco motif where some of Trent's irate lyrics stream through the mayhem. Carly Simon's famously snarky line from "You're So Vain" is devilishly delivered with gusto. "Where Is Everybody?" is next. Vague sounds sneak in from under a fog to establish a semi-contemporary groove brightened by electric piano chords. Like the majority of Reznor's compositions the tune's arrangement involves gradual buildups and sudden teardowns but this one lacks focus and tends to meander. Their cover of Gary Numan's "Metal" is a treat, though. The song's obvious New Wave vibe is presented without sarcasm and the somewhat laidback feel allows Trent to do his trademark I'm-singing-right-next-to-your-ear vocalization with lines like "My Mallory heart is sure to fail/I could crawl around the floor/just like I'm real/like you" and "All I know is/no one dies/I'm still confusing love with need." Weird but cool. The second half of the song is surprisingly serene and hypnotic. For "10 Miles High" a hazy onset is followed by a threatening beat and a solemn guitar riff that bursts in to set up the questionable musical premise. While not particularly memorable, it does take the listener through a maze of dynamic movements. "Starf**kers, Inc." brings up the rear. This time a throbbing bass drum is surrounded by what sounds like whirring mechanical machine-generated effects. It's a parade of unnerving and seemingly random series of synthetic bells and whistles that add up to be a crazed experiment that falls short of being able to engage even the most liberal of prog ears.

"Things Falling Apart" was released on November 21, 2000 and was met with a mix of confusion and cautious acceptance in the ranks of their fans. Critics in general issued brutally nasty reviews and rendered awful assessments of its content. I'm on the fence but I can assure you it's far from being a trash heap. I find it alternately alluring and repulsive and that doesn't bother me at all. It's important to note that Trent Reznor was in the throes of a horrible addiction to alcohol and cocaine at the time and his substance abuse no doubt affected his ability to discern what was inventive from what was indulgent at times and this album reflects a certain amount of that deficiency. Genius or no, his afflictions certainly played a part in determining what came tumbling out of his imagination. Sometimes being brutally transparent can be a benefit and sometimes it can be detrimental. "Things Falling Apart" clearly displays both sides of the coin and we fans can at least rejoice in the fact that Trent finally defeated his demons in the years that followed and moved on. 2.9 stars.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "Things Falling Apart" is another remix album from Nine Inch Nails, this time with the tracks being sourced from the album "The Fragile". Eight of the ten tracks are remixes from that album with one track being an original song and one being a Gary Numan cover. Reznor and Alan Moulder remixed 3 of the tracks here with the others being remixed by other artists. With Reznor having a lot of luck with remix albums after "The Downward Spiral", it only made sense to do a remix album of "The Fragile", thus this album became a companion album to that one. However, the critics really did not give this remix album a good chance as it was thoroughly panned by them.

Starting off with "Slipping Away", the first remix refers to the song "Into the Void" both musically and rhythmically. The lyrics are broken into "I keep slipping away" and "Tried to change myself" in various forms and the music builds off of percussion and guitar loops with a thumping beat and layers that become more distorted as the track continues and moves into the next track "The Great Collapse". These first two tracks are remixed and reconfigured by Reznor and Alan Moulder. The Great Collapse is a quieter track and is actually an original that was supposed to be used on "The Fragile" album. It builds off of synth loops and a piano riff. There are repeated lyrics sung by an unnamed female vocalist. The lyrics are a repeated line that sounds like it might have come from "The Wretched", but it is not a remix of that as commonly believed. After the female vocals come in, you also hear Reznor yelling the same line in the background.

The next track is a remix of "The Wretched" mixed by Keith Hillebrandt. This one has a bass drone and a heavy beat with Reznor singing the lyrics in a whispery voice. It later breaks down to bass and acoustic guitar only while Reznor repeats "Now you know/This is what it feels like", then it all eventually starts to build again to the end. The next track is the first of three remixes of "Starf*ckers, Inc.", this remix done by Adrian Sherwood. The track features various sound effects and even samples from KISS' "Shout it Out Loud" from the album "Alive II". A remix of "The Frail" comes next. It uses distorted effects and stings and the melody is played on a violin instead of a piano. It remains mostly quiet and dark.

Another version of "Starf*ckers, Inc." follows, this time manipulated by Dave Ogilve. This one is a brighter dance oriented version with an industrial beat and feel, and contains most of the lyrics, including the "You're So Vain" lyrics. "Where is Everybody?" is a remix of the original mixed by Danny Lohner. This is a nice minimal track that has processed and cut up vocals. It remains quite atmospheric and adds in glitch beats later in the track. The next track is "Metal", and is a remix of a Gary Numan track taken from the album "The Pleasure Principle" and manipulated by Reznor and Moulder. The last part of the track has a long instrumental that pulls out sections of other Numan songs.

"10 Miles High" is another remix done by Keith Hillebrandt. The introduction is shorter than the original and the guitar solo is put on the end of the song instead of the middle, but it remains pretty faithful to the original otherwise. The album ends with the third remix of "Starf*ckers, Inc.", this time remixed by Charlie Clouser. It starts out quite subdued but develops into an industrial version of the track with very few of the lyrics left in the mix.

Even though the critics panned this remix album, it really isn't that bad. Most of the tracks come from what they consider a weaker album (The Fragile), and, after so many different remix albums, the critics were not too easy on it. Personally, I think it's a pretty good album for a remix album, and the music is quite varied, which is not always the case with remixes. Even with 3 versions of one song, they are different enough that it is almost like you don't even notice. Anyway, I consider it one of the stronger NIN remix albums, so I don't see any problem giving it 4 stars.

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