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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 6 May 2003
Trent Reznor has NEVER disappointed me, and I doubt he ever will. While some people might've overlooked this album and didn't appreciate it, I think "The Fragile" is a true and unique Nine Inch Nails masterpiece from start to finish. There is not one wasted second on the entire album. It's all good, all well-constructed, and all perfectly executed.
The last full length NIN album, "The Downward Spiral" is considered a dark and controversial album, but "The Fragile" proves to be more of a softer and melodic piece (although there is still plenty of anger and surprises to go around). With each album you can sense how much NIN's music has evolved. And this album is certainly no exception. There are soft songs and there are heavy songs. There are angry songs and there are emotional songs. There's songs with lyrics, and there are some that are just purely instrumental. No two songs sound alike and no two songs make you feel the same way. That is the genius to Trent Reznor. He can always impress and surprise you.
This double-album is the most complex thing Reznor has done, or at least in my mind. Which is why it took so long for it to come out. There is NOT ONE BAD SONG on the entire two disks. As soon as you're finished listening to them, you want to listen to them again. My favorites are songs like "somewhat damaged," "we're in this together," "the great below," "please," "the mark has been made," "the frail," "the big come down," "where is everybody," "the fragile," and "into the void." But the bottom line is they're all good and this isn't an album you'll want to go around skipping tracks. You will want to absorb it all in its entirety and nothing less.
What can I say; I think Trent Reznor is a musical genius. And I know I'm not the only one who feels that way. Sure, there were people who were disappointed with this album, but if you really do appreciate everything that NIN has done, then you will fall in love with this double-album masterpiece. From start to finish, "The Fragile" is a unique experience that can never be duplicated.
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on 15 December 2005
As is an ever present theme of NIN albums The fragile 'halo fourteen' invites you into a deeply emotive world of self indulgent remorse, pain, and confusion. If you are familiar with their work this will be of no surprise to you and will in fact be a pre-requisite of your nails experience.
It would be of little use to highlight any tracks of particular interest as each one complements the other, and in turn the theme of the album; although, unable to resist temptation the gut wrenching emotivism of 'The great below', the raw power of 'We're in this together' and the seductively destructive 'big come down' will really hit you where it hurts.
Many people comment on nails as being suicide music, and without any fear of reducing their opinions to drivle i will simply say that they can only be denying something that dwells deep within us all. This album will suck you in and emrace you with its iron grip, you'll experience crushing riffs, turbulent synthesized beats and a wealth of percussion effects, with of course the prolific sound of trents agonisingly raw vocal talent to transcend the lot into another dimention of expression through music.
Raw, industrial and thoroughly enjoyable
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on 7 December 2000
There have been pretenders in his absence. There was Marilyn Manson, there was Filter. And yet, they could not break away from the shadow of their mentor, Mr. Trent Reznor. 5 years was a long time, would the world remember him? To ensure, NIN returned with one of the most sensational recordings of the last decade.
I got into NIN recently, and The Fragile was my first album. I'm always wary of art-rock & prog-rock, but this is so stylish and cunningly put together, it made me love it. Reznor is complicated but never pretentious - he remembers he is actually a musician underneath it all, something Radiohead seemed to forget with Kid A. There are so many brilliant tracks it is difficult to describe. Highlights: The passion of We're In This Together, the beauty-beast of No You Don't, the anger of Starf*ckers, the nihilsm of The Day...., the guitar jangles and screamed vocals on The Big Come Down, the danceability of Into The Void, the growing bass of Somewhat Damaged. Even on the loudest, most obnoxious moments have hidden melodies, begging to be picked out. It even has good instrumentals, which i usually hate. You can be a complete music illiterate like me and still be touched by the manipulation of instruments.
The strartingly odd cover, cardboard box and inside lyrics booklet complete a magnificent purchase. Now even his own mentor Gary Numan is taking the industrial-goth route, we have to ask weather music could live without Trent Reznor and his Nine Inch Nails
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on 21 November 2000
For me, Nine Inch Nails is a band that provides a refreshing break from the same-old-same-old rock music of today. Everything about them, right down to the CD cases, is original and unusual. Trent Reznor is a genius. He writes music that goes beyond being music, it's a state of mind. Take 'The Day the World Went Away' I've listened to that song a million times and I still treat it as if I've never heard it before. It's a song with a million quirks and intricacies that I am constantly finding. The other highlights of the album are Somewhat Damaged, The Wretched, Starf*ckers Inc, Complication, Into the Void. But ultimately, 'The Fragile' is an album that should be recognised as one of those very special albums, where every song is wonderful. It is true, unadulterated genius, and, dare I say it? Better than 'The Downward Spiral'. I'm gonna get lynched for saying that.
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on 16 January 2000
This is a fantastic - though extremely long album - which I guarantee you will listen to for a very long time indeed. There are different types of music for everybody: rock, heavy metal, even in some places classical. Trent Reznor has broken new barriers again, and his confidence that people will accept the album has been fulfilled - everyone is raving about it. This is a double CD (hence the slightly higher price) and the album is overall 1 hour 43 minutes long... "too long" you say ...well it isn't: the good thing about the album is that is doesn't hurry itself along, it goes at its own pace, not caring if 2 CD's will be needed to fit it on. It is designed to be listened to in one go, which is fine by me, I have the time to listen to it in one go, but other people haven't and that way they won't like the albm as much, I can guarantee that. That tracks that stand out most for me are the opening track, "Somewhat damaged", "The Pilgrimage" (one of 5 instrumental tracks on the CD's, the last track is an instrumental too, I haven't seen that before) and "Starfuckers, Inc." aimed directly at his then ex-friend Marilyn Manson ("You're so vain/I bet you think this song is about you/Don't you?"), but really, all the songs are great in a way. This album is essential to anyone that likes rock, pop or classical music. It features a pile of swearing and also comes with a really nice lyrics book, a proper one, not like the piece of paper that you get with other records... you get what you pay for. Buy it now! (and also buy "Pretty Hate Machine" and "The Downward Spiral", NIN's other 2 albums)
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on 11 January 2006
this album is not just about one style. there is a mix of dark, heavy, relaxing and light music here. trent reznor composes some beautiful instrumentals along with heavy pumping beats. La Mer is a wonderful song to relax to, Somewhat Damaged is a great opening track - love the drums on that one. The Great Below is an intense track (which really does seem like the sea), Into The Void has a really nice marimba intro that turns into a great electro song and Please and We're In This Together are powerful, industrial and heavy. Although not as destructive a sound as The Downward Spiral, The Fragile is still a powerful record and one that no NIN fan should be without.
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on 25 January 2008
Its amazing to think that 'The Fragile' divides fans of nin, with some saying its his best and most challenging work and with others unable to appreciate the complex nature of 'The Fragile'.

'The Fragile' was released in 1999 five years after the much loved and highly successful 'The Downward Spiral' into a music world that was dominated at the time by nu metal and boybands. Its release should have really saved us from the world of 35 year old men pretending they were 18, and 18 year olds making a bunch of grey haired men in an office rich. Despite a strong start it faded away quickly, missed by many fans as a result.

The album itself is a double and while most double albums dont make sense, 'The Fragile' would have been lost as single album. The album starts of with 'Somewhat Damaged' which is as heavy as anything Reznors done it then moves onto 'The day the world went away' which sets up the first disc nicely. Both discs have their share of instrumentals which rather than take away from the album really add to the whole feel of it. And this really is the thing about 'The Fragile' its meant to be listened to as whole album.

Reznor even finds time to bait one time friend Marilyn Manson with the superb 'Starf****ers' and with the likes of Dr Dre adding mxing assitance to 'even deeper' and touring members Danny Lohner and Charile Clouser also appearing 'The Fragile' has no real weak points, its not an album your going to love after one brief listen but stick it on from start to finish and you soon will.
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on 6 April 2002
The Fragile- what can I say, but what more can you want from a cd? Not only is it great to listen to (yes- I know the most important aspect of music) but the sheer complication, the extraordinary musical carpet that is weaved before the listener's ears and the emotional confusion within this album, make it the best music I have heard in a long time. From the pulverising ferocity of 'Starf***ers Inc.' to the delicate, yet desperate, perfection of 'I'm Looking Forward to Joining You, Finally' to my favourite, the hateful, hopelessness of 'The Big Come Down' Nine Inch Nails continue, even though I'm a huge fan, to astound me. I sometimes feel as though I'm missing the pig picture with this record, that there is some higher plane of thought I cannot comprhend, but I'm still happy in my ignorance as long as I'm listening to 'The Fragile'. Also try Further Down the Spiral.
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on 10 May 2016
This is a purchase of an album I've already owned for a long time but can no longer find. I enjoyed it sufficiently to want a hard copy as well as the digital version. If you're one of that small group of people that buy albums on a whim without knowing the artist (I do, occasionally, for a surprise) I think this is one of the more accessible NIN albums and would comfortably say the Fragile-left (it's a double cd) remains my favourite NIN cd. And if you're looking for help getting over the Amazon £20 mark to get free shipping, I'd say look at Still as well. While I could make a case for the virtues of any NIN cd I've thus far encountered, that's the one which I've seen reverse preconceptions about NIN most completely.
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on 25 October 2003
When I think of the fragile, one thing that comes to mind is that this is possibly the most underrated album ever. I have read so many reviews about ‘this being nothing compared to Trent Reznor's other work’ and countless times have I heard reviewers say something like ‘if you are looking for something like the downward spiral then you wont find it here’. But what a stupid thing to say, if I wanted a replica of the downward spiral then I would expect to buy something called ‘the downward spiral two’, but I don’t. Instead I want an original and highly creative album that represents the nine inch nail distinguished style of music, and luckily this is what I got.
My comments would be that if your trying to look for one of the best albums ever and you liked Revnor's previous outings, or if you’re a new comer to the world of nine inch nails, buy this album. It is two CD’s of what I can only describe as an immense trip of musical ecstasy.
I could go on for pages and pages about this album but I am sure it will just be me rambling on and so I would just like to say, for the last time, buy this album, its just amazing, I couldn’t imagine life without it
Thank you for your time
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