On the other hand, Reznor followed it by releasing album after album of mostly filler, and maybe in all of the succeeding albums, there's what...maybe 10 songs that are actually worth a damn? (And one of them's a B-side...)
the same order.
PLEASE do not tell me you are including "March of the Pigs" or "Hand that feeds" in that list of ten. I might have to engage you in a nuclear war if you say yes.
I actually have an issue with Pretty Hate Machine. Musically, a few of my favorite NIN songs are on it, but.... the lyrics are cheesy as hell. Seriously, not his best lyric writing at all. Not even "Head like A Hole" is good in that regard... :/ And one of my favs from the album is downright laughable: "That's what I get"
The Downward Spiral is even worse in terms of lyrics, but actually is a step up, musically. You may call "Eraser", "Reptile", "A warm place" and "The Becoming" filler, but they are well executed. And yes, I know that one of them is a rip from "Crystal Japan" by Bowie.
The Fragile is by far his best (yes, I am one of those). The lyrics are more sparse and his writing ability had improved by then. That and the emotions on that album are thicker and more believable.
Everything since then has been better than his early career, but still has those cringeworthy moments (DAMN YOU, "Survivalism"!!!!).
As for that video, I am surprised he didn't steal on of the sheep.
No. When I first heard "March of the Pigs," I was like, "What the f@#$ happened to Trent Reznor?"
One of the things that I like about PHM is the cheesy pop element to it. When it came out, in the late 80s, industrial music was bleak as f@#$. The closest thing to a pop sensibility you had were a few songs by Front 242
or Nitzer Ebb
, or this one song by Ministry
(*). And then along comes this guy (Reznor) who's basically channeling Prince...(f#$%ing PRINCE!
)...on an industrial album. But after PHM, it seemed like there were few songs that had any of this real pop-ness. If I just want bleak industrial melancholy...there are a veritable f@#$load of bands out there doing that kind of thing. Pretty much KMFDM
was the only major band to continue trying to write "hooks"
through the last 2 decades, and they were always going for a completely different kind of "sound."
(*) I really love the "jazzy" keyboard solos in this song. Another thing I loved about PHM was that there is a very distinct synth lead "sound" and style in many of the songs. Unfortunately, Reznor kinda dropped the concept after the first album.
(**) And I think this song, while nothing like PHM, is the greatest industrial "pop song" written in the last 20 years...even if it is just a "commercial" for the band...