It wasn’t until my first year out of high school that I began listening to Nine Inch Nails. 2006. A friend of mine was very adamant about me listening to them. So, that year I bought my first NIN album, “The Downward Spiral”.
I had a lot of preconceived notions of what the album would be like. In high school I had a very strong opinion of what I did and did not listen to. Little did I know how much I was missing out on! Optimism. Check.
The only other “Industrial” Rock album I had owned before this was…(yes it is awesome)…Powerman 5000…. and I am not ashamed, because I still think that album is so awesome. I’m saving that for another rainy day.
Two years ago I was given the opportunity to be in the front row at the NIN/Soundgarden concert. That show solidified everything. I have no words, except maybe dumbfound?
I’ve heard from multiple friends/fans of NIN that Trent Reznor takes everything to the next level. He’s an incredibly passionate artist who puts himself into every part of his work. It definitely shows.
Track 1- “Mr. Self Destruct”….I remember listening to the first few seconds of this song and thinking that I had made a mistake in my purchase. Such a strange opening to an album. But, wow. After those first few seconds, he breaks into a powerful lyricist. I interpret it as narcissism at its finest. He writes as a person in power who sees nothing but himself. However, it isn’t done in a way where you think…this guy is an asshole. It’s almost like a confession.
Track 2- “Piggy (Nothing can stop me now)” A transitional piece? A struggle with the reality of the first track? I assume “Piggy” is associated with some sort of person of authority (cop?). Maybe it was written from the point of view of the person that was affected by the first track? Who knows…
Track 3- “Heresy” I love this song. Many of us have struggled with the thought of religion or certain ideals. We get frustrated with those around us that don’t believe what we believe. Sometimes we may refer to them as blind.
He sewed his eyes shut because he is afraid to see
He tries to tell me what I put inside of me
Track 4- “March of the Pigs” Another song about conformity? A beautiful song about conformity. When NIN performed this at the concert, it was INSANE ( in a good way). Kudos to Trent Reznor and his cultivated energy from performing for over 20 years. The feeling from the performance and the hundreds of people behind me was something I never felt before.
Track 5- “Closer” yes.
Track 6- “Ruiner” Self confrontation. I can’t help but think that Reznor was combating himself in this song.
You had all of them on your side didn’t you?
You believe in all your lies didn’t you?
The ruiner’s got a lot to prove he’s got nothing to lose and now he
Made you believe
Track 7-“The Becoming” Inner struggle of self worth and awareness.
Track 8-“I Do Not Want This” Whoever the character is that Reznor created in this concept album (maybe a view of himself), is still struggling with change/evolution. Depression, hate, anger…all within his conscience.
Track 9- “Big Man with a Gun” This song is…interesting and seems to be satirical…atleast I hope it is. Almost as if he is mocking the power hungry character within the rest of the album. He breaks him down to this dumb, egotistical douche bag…that thinks he is on top of the world because of his endowments…but in truth, he’s no better than anyone else.
Track 10- “A Warm Place” One of Reznor’s haunting instrumentals. I’ve read that this track was meant to act as the part of humanity that goes untouched. It is the part of our souls that we keep hidden from all, that makes us an individual. It is the empathy we feel, but no one else can understand because it is impossible for anyone to truly walk in someone else’s shoes.
Track 11- “Eraser” A call for help.
Track 12- “Reptile” well…this song is apparently about an STD. I am lost.
Track 13- “The Downward Spiral” very…very..dark.
Track 14-“Hurt” and..I leave you with this ❤
Tomorrow: “Moving Pictures” by RUSH …..A modern day warrior…Mean, mean stride…
Today’s Tom Sawyer…Mean, mean pride!