Nine Inch Nails’ “The Fragile” Turns 20

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On this day in 1999 “Nine Inch Nails” released their masterpiece The Fragile, a double album that was a big departure from it’s predecessor The Downward Spiral. Moving away from the harsher noise-infused tumult of The Downward Spiral, which reflected songwriter Trent Reznor’s descent into madness, The Fragile found Reznor incorporating elements of “Ambient,” “Electro,” eerie soundscapes, and even a little “Hip Hop,” but wasn’t any less self-reflective. The lyrical themes of depression, isolation, and drug addiction continued. If The Downward Spiral was the soundtrack to someone’s descent into depression, addiction, and nihilism, then The Fragile was the ultimate coping method and state of realization. It was the sadness that follows the anger, and it was an incredible end of an era for “Nine Inch Nails.” Happy 20th anniversary.

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