Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral (1994)

Downward Spiral has never come across to me as an organised, coherent album. Sure, I’m not saying that it sounds like a series of disconnected tracks thrown together for a buck, or anything like that. There was obviously a deliberate creation process behind all of this. But, what I’m trying to say is, is that I’ve never found that Downward Spiral flows. At all.

Now, I’m not an expert on NIN. Maybe this is intentional, and would of course fit nicely with the title of the record, and with the band’s earlier, abrasive, static-driven, nastier songs jarring uncomfortably against danceable, smooth electronics. It was a style that NIN arguably perfected, and one which has been imitated a thousand times over by legions of lesser industrial acts. 

Downward Spiral takes the whole heroin chic Hollywood rock n roll thing to a deep, dark place. Also, any album that has “Closer” on it is a doozy in my books.