The Fragile

The Fragile

by Nine Inch NailsNine Inch Nails


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"Watching fate as it flows down the path we have chose," sings Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor. And on the two CDs that comprise THE FRAGILE, that path is bleak, brutal, whiny, and pretty damn cathartic to boot. From the My Bloody Valentine feedback washes of the first single, "The Day the World Went Away" to doom 'n' boom dance-noise workouts like "Just Like You Imagined" and "Even Deeper" to a classic industry hate-spiel "Starfuckers Inc.," FRAGILE is a sprawling, overwrought maelstrom of vitriolic sonics and tightly wound nausea. The downright slammin' "No, You Don't" might be straightforward enough in its pursuit of a Ministry-style groove grind, but, for the most part, this album ebbs and flows like a tidal pool of black beats and sonic scar tissue. When it opens, it thankfully spews forth some of the most potent pop and ambitious beat programming of Trent's career. (See the love anthem "The Fragile" or the gorgeous instrumental, "La Mer.") Throughout, atmospheric cuts like "The Way Out Is Through" merge with complex electro-acoustic experiments like the avant-funky "Into the Void" and flat-out dirge-boogies like "Where Is Everybody?" Lyrically, it's predictable blather: Reznor can come across as the archetypal spoiled little piggie, bawling "me me me" all the way home until he can get behind his synth and spray venom at a world that knows no justice. Sure, the brooding can get a little boring. But, hey, in an age when every new chump on the goth block, from Manson to Korn, is trying to jack his shtick, it's nice to see the primo prophet of postindustrial alienation keeping pace with the young bucks.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/21/1999
Label: Nothing
UPC: 0606949047320
catalogNumber: 90473
Rank: 30634

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nine Inch Nails   Primary Artist
Adrian Belew   Guitar
Mike Garson   Piano
Bill Rieflin   Drums
Barbara Wilson   Background Vocals
Leslie Wilson   Background Vocals
Jerome Dillon   Drums
Elquine Rice   Background Vocals
Terry Rice   Background Vocals
Clint Mansell   Choir, Chorus
Danny Lohner   Synthesizer,Guitar,Ambience
Keith Hillebrandt   Choir, Chorus
Tracy Hardin   Background Vocals
Heather Bennet   Background Vocals
Buddha Boys Choir   Choir, Chorus,Chant
Buddha Debutante Choir   Background Vocals
Di Coleman   Background Vocals
Melissa Daigle   Background Vocals
Steve Duda   Percussion,Violin,Choir, Chorus
Eric Edmonson   Choir, Chorus
Cherry Holly   Trumpet
Doug Idleman   Choir, Chorus
Marcus London   Choir, Chorus
Denise Milfrot   Vocals
Judy Miller   Background Vocals
Gary I. Neal   Background Vocals
Christine Parrish   Background Vocals
Adam Persaud   Choir, Chorus
Martha Prevost   Vocals
M. Gabriela Rivas   Background Vocals
Nick Scott   Choir, Chorus
Rodney Sulton   Background Vocals
Stefani Taylor   Background Vocals
Nigel Wiesehan   Choir, Chorus
Willie   Cello
Martha Wood   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Steve Albini   Engineer
Paul Bradley   Programming
Charles Clouser   Programming,Atmosphere
Paul DeCarli   Programming
Alan Moulder   Producer,Engineer
Trent Reznor   Programming,Producer
Dave Ogilvie   Engineer
David Carson   Art Direction
Danny Lohner   drum programming
Brian Pollack   Engineer
Leo Herrera   Engineer
Keith Hillebrandt   Programming,Sound Design
Steve Duda   Programming
Jeff Anderson   Artist Relations

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