Nine Inch Nails : Broken

ninbrokenALBUM OF THE WEEK

During the time that Pretty Hate Machine was becoming an underground sensation, Trent Reznor became embroiled in legal difficulties with his label that prevented the release of any new Nine Inch Nails material.

FIND ON AMAZON

But the three-year wait actually helped — most of NIN’s fans were relatively recent converts, and they eagerly snapped up 1992’s Broken, which afforded the already angst-ridden Reznor the opportunity to vent his ample frustration over the imbroglio.

Where Pretty Hate Machine had a few moments of reflection and sardonic humor, Broken is a concentrated blast of caustic, naked rage. Given how draining it is, a full-length album in its style would unquestionably have been wearisome, even self-parodic.

So, Broken is the rare EP that’s conceptually focused and complete unto itself. Production-wise, it’s also a step up from Pretty Hate Machine, and a showcase for Reznor’s flowering studio acumen. While Pretty Hate Machine was primarily electronic, Broken is loaded with heavy, jagged guitars, processed through a veritable meat grinder of effects into a massive wall of distortion.

Each song one-ups the viciousness of its predecessor; even the two relatively subdued instrumental interludes are full of abrasive textures. There are two hidden bonus cuts at the end of the CD (early pressings had them on a separate disc); they’re neither as produced nor as intense, and thus separated conceptually as well as physically. The cover of Adam Ant’s “(You’re So) Physical” was something of a revelation — not just demonstrating Reznor’s fondness for new wave, but serving as a touchstone for his self-conscious, glammed-up sense of style. That — and his skills as a producer and arranger — would reach their fullest realization on The Downward Spiral, but Broken’s tight focus and frothing intensity make it a major work in its own right. (review by Steve Huey)

Album Moods
Aggressive Angry Cathartic Confrontational Cynical/Sarcastic Harsh Hostile Intense Nihilistic Theatrical

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s