In the rush to cover the constant waves of new music, we all too often neglect discussing the releases that leave the most substantial impressions in our lives. As such, we recently invited some bands and artists to wax poetic about an album that was deeply impactful or influential to them, either musically or personally. The third guest to graciously offer a retrospective in this series is Steven of (intoxicatingly cathartic and emotive) dark electronica act aortaproject. Notably, this is the second of four(!) NIN retrospectives. Read on!
Written by: Steven of aortaproject
Nine Inch Nails The Fragile: Trent Reznor's opus. Not his most critically acclaimed work, but for diehards, this is "all that could have been" for Nine Inch Nails.
It's been almost 20 years since the iconic double album’s release in Sept of 1999 and I still couldn't be happier with it. The Fragile remains a staple in my reported influences, and a constant in my playlist. Even after thousands of hours of listening, I still find bits and pieces I haven't noticed before. Exploring the threads of Reznor's genius. The Fragile is laced with sonic texture, intricate layering, and an articulate blending of synthetic and natural elements, encroaching the frail temperament of stringed instruments with the powerful programming of electronic drums and pulsating synths.
The Fragile is composed of deep listens that can be difficult to grasp, but become ever infectious over time. The inner workings of the album provide a journey of sonic soundscapes, pulling the listener through highs and lows of savage raw aggression, brutal confessions equally contrasting the subtly crafted ambient soundscapes, soft spoken cries for help, and a delicate path of resistance. The Fragile is a recorded confession to the process of growth and repair while facing the same original perils that brought you here in the first place. Unparalleled in vulnerability, creativity, and integrity.
Serving as an inspiration to my own creative works, I fell in love with the different templates and the variety of sonic culture on the album. Carnivorous guitars, vulnerable pianos, orchestrated synths, lush atmosphere, and passionate vocals across a horizon of deliveries registered with purposeful contrast. The Fragile is a non stop musical journey from start to finish. Living in purpose of the sounds, and un-apologetically itself. No sound left unturned. The Fragile opened my eyes and ears to track placement/arrangement in a way I never encountered. Always emulated, but never recreated. The Fragile still stands as an impeccable force in my own music developments as a listener and an artist.
Favorite tracks: "the frail," "the wretched," "WITT," "the fragile," "la mer," "the great below," "the mark has been made," "please," and "the big come down."
Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile was released Sept. 1999 from Nothing / Interscope. All of Nine Inch Nails's assorted links can be found on their official site.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!