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The Fragile

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★★★★½
(1053 Reviews)

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  • It’s been almost a year since I’ve bought “The Fragile”. I’ve listened to both CD’s so many times it would make Trent Reznor either very happy or very worried. And you know what? Both CD’s are still getting daily play. From the sheer anger of “No, You Don’t” to the to funk angst of “Please” to the thumping evil beats of “The Wretched”, this has to be the greatest album ever. I can honestly say I’ll never find an album of this magnitude, simply because nothing comes close. That’s a bold statement, I know, but it’s all true. Whether you agree or not about that, you can’t deny the fact that this album is the best produced album ever. It seems like every time I listen to it I find something new. Reznor and Alan Moulder did the greatest job humanly possible. And that’s just the music. “Somewhat Damaged” (which is co-written by tourmate Danny Lohner) is one of NIN’s best written songs. The emotion of it is extremely strong, the music is slow (at first) and then builds up to an explosion of anger being led by it’s fragile-yet-angry lyrics. And to think, that’s just the first song off the first disc (or the “Left” disc as it’s referred to). Next is “The Day The World Went Away”, a beautiful song with loud guitars and no drums. Then it’s “The Frail” (one of the best of the instrumentals) which bleeds into “The Wretched”, a song that sounds like you’re going to hell and Trent’s showing some empathy. “We’re In This Together” is simply amazing. When that chorus kicks I still get chills up and down my spine. The title track has one of the most beautiful and sad guitar solos I’ve ever heard. As I’m sure you’ll notice when you get it (and you better too), is that there is a lot of violin and cello work throughout the album. It doesn’t shine any better than in “Even Deeper”. Though mixing credit is given to Dr. Dre, you can’t even tell he did anything. The way the song leads out is breathtaking. “Pilgrimage” is the best instrumental on “The Fragile”, it sounds as if dead souls are marching along; absolutely perfect. “La Mer” is too beautiful for words, starting out with heavenly piano notes that explodes into hip-hop beats (!) and Prince-style (! ) funk that will move you like you never thought NIN could. “The Great Below” is just too touching. Both romantic and sad, all I can say is just listen to it. Now on to the “Right” disc. “The Way Out Is Through” is a great song that leads into an even better one, “Into The Void” (one of my favorites off the album). “Where Is Everybody?” through “Star (um..) Inc.” retraces the betrayal that Trent was dealing with in earlier songs. “Star Inc.” by the way, rocks like Limp Bizkit wish they could. The next couple of songs are also great. But it picks up at another one of my favorites, “Underneath It All”. The beat and romantic lyrics make it so it can be played as loud as you want, or as soft as you want. The finale, “Ripe (With Decay)” is a very dark instrumental with it’s gothic-style piano notes to give it a dead-like feel. A long album, an epic album, a masterpiece. Play this album with your headphones and at the highest volume possible through big speakers, you’ll pick up on all sorts of interesting sounds. By the way, sorry for the long review, but I had to attempt at giving it the justice it deserves.

    Posted on December 30, 2009