The Fragile

Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile
Critic Score
Based on 6 reviews
1999 Ratings: #69 / 110
User Score
Based on 248 ratings
1999 Ratings: #31
Liked by 3 people
September 21, 1999 / Release Date
LP / Format
Nothing/Interscope / Label
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Entertainment Weekly
Right now, hard rock simply doesn’t get any smarter, harder, or more ambitious than this.
The Fragile offers no insights into how people survive their assault of their own thoughts, but such wisdom has no place within Reznor´s compositions. He lives to be haunted. We´re lucky he keeps hammering away inside that unquiet mind.

It's easy to tell where the time went -- Reznor's music is immaculately crafted and arranged, with every note and nuance gliding into the next -- but he spent more time constructing surfaces than songs. Those surfaces can be enticing but since it's just surface, The Fragile winds up being vaguely unsatisfying.

Rolling Stone

But like the rest of The Fragile, it's New Wave with its finger on the trigger. Reznor doesn't want to get "Closer" here – he wants to armor himself behind a wall of noise.

Here comes Trent, knocking at your door, asking for your misery. And all you can say is, ‘Sorry, already given’, and send him away. The Goth. The Outdated. The Ever So Slightly Foolish.

The Fragile is simply Music for 'The Elder for the digital age.

Good but bloated
The Downward Spiral 2: That's a lot of damage

Track Review

Somewhat Damaged 9/10
The Day The World Went Away 9.5/10
The Frail 8/10
The Wretched 9.5/10
We're In This Together 9/10
The Fragile 9/10
Just Like You Imagined 9/10
Even Deeper 8.5/10
Pilgrimage 8/10
No, You Don't 8.5/10
La Mer 8.5/10
The Great Below 9/10
The Way Out Is Through 8/10
Into The Void 9.5/10
Where Is Everybody? 9/10
The Mark Has Been Made 8/10
Please 8/10
Starfuckers, Inc. 9/10
Complication 8.5/10
I'm Looking Forward ... read more
I think this is still probably my favourite NIN album outside of "Still". The up and down nature of the songs, and the unpredictable song structures, as well as just how downtrodden the vast majority of this album is, it's just so enjoyable to me, and everytime I come back to it, I find more and more things that I love about it. There's so much to unpack here, and while I get that sometimes it can be a little over-simplified at times, it's that more toned down and accessible approach ... read more
Finally had a chance to digest this monster. Not easy, as it requires volume and it's long. Paid off though.
“The Fragile” feels like another concept album split into two separate parts, except it’s more focused on Trent’s problems more than another character’s. Like “The Downward Spiral”, “The Fragile” feels increasingly like a descent into madness as the album goes on both lyrically, vocally and instrumentally (maybe even more!). This album also feels more abstract than the previous records. Making it one of NIN’s most accomplished ... read more
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Year End Lists


Track List

Disc 1

  1. Somewhat Damaged 
  2. The Day The World Went Away 
  3. The Frail 
  4. The Wretched 
  5. We're In This Together 
  6. The Fragile 
  7. Just Like You Imagined 
  8. Even Deeper 
  9. Pilgrimage 
  10. No, You Don't 
  11. La Mer 
  12. The Great Below 

Disc 2

  1. The Way Out Is Through 
  2. Into The Void 
  3. Where Is Everybody? 
  4. The Mark Has Been Made 
  5. Please 
  6. Starfuckers, Inc. 
  7. Complication 
  8. I'm Looking Forward To Joining You, Finally 
  9. The Big Come Down 
  10. Underneath It All 
  11. Ripe (With Decay)
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Added on: September 13, 2012