The Fragile

Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile
Critic Score
Based on 6 reviews
1999 Ratings: #74 / 98
User Score
Based on 141 ratings
1999 Ratings: #27
September 21, 1999 / Release Date
LP / Format
Nothing/Interscope / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
Entertainment Weekly
Right now, hard rock simply doesn’t get any smarter, harder, or more ambitious than this.
90
Spin
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.
80
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.

60
AllMusic

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.

50
NME
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 The Outdated.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.
20
Pitchfork

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

Hypnoglitz
88
Finally had a chance to digest this monster. Not easy, as it requires volume and it's long. Paid off though.
Plats
91
“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
ricardomcr
73
As with a lot of double albums, I like parts of it. Still remains enjoyable throughout.
Where PHM is sexual and groovy, and where TDS is despairingly abrasive, this album comes off as a bit subdued and not fully committed to a specific side of the spectrum.

After a while it gets hard to tell apart an original idea from a re-worked one repeated for 2:30 minutes of an interlude with slight mutations. Some songs come off as formulaic NIN, even for all the cross-experimentations going on between ... read more
PipePanic
96
This is a relentless album. In length, it's relentless. With it's experimentation, it's relentless. With the overall playing, it's relentless. And with the lyrics at play here? It's almost hard to listen. It's the closest Trent has come to actually dying for his art, and here his art is tearing him apart. And it's strangely fantastic to listen to.

Favorite jams: The Wretched, Somewhat Damaged, The Big Come Down

Lest favorite: Complication
aaron
91
The sound of a mind falling apart, this is the months after you had reached the bottom of the downward spiral, and its amazing. The best art comes from those entirely destroyed by something, usually themselves.
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END OF YEAR LISTS

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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