Chart Action: This dismal double
disc hit number 1 in its first week
on the pop chart.
Reviewed By: Bob Waliszewski
Pro-Social Content: Despite a
pessimistic view of life, Trent
Reznor occasionally steps out of
the darkness. He wants to help a girl overcome pain ("The
Fragile") and finds strength in a friendship ("We're in This
Objectionable Content: Awash in poetic angst and
self-loathing, these songs trade melody for melancholy. The artist
views himself as poisoned, worthless, uncaring ("Somewhat
Damaged"), wretched ("The Frail") and empty ("Please"). On
"The Frail," he gripes, "God himself will reach his f---ing arm
through/Just to push you down." According to "Even Deeper" and
"The Big Come Down," even upbeat days are more mirage than
oasis, serving only to make things worse in the end. The nasty
"Starf---ers, Inc." involves vindictive name-calling and a reference
to one man performing oral sex on another. Anger. Despair.
Bitterness toward God. The advisory label is much deserved for
an assortment of blasphemies and obscenities.
Summary/Advisory: This follow-up to 1994's The Downward
Spiral (5 million copies sold) avoids angry songs about
animalistic sex and suicide. For that we are truly grateful. Still,
more than 100 minutes of self-destructiveness and pain make
The Fragile only a mild improvement. Encourage teens to pray
for Reznor instead of wallowing in his ear-splitting hopelessness.
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is provided courtesy Keith Duemling and Tracy Thompson from the collection previously
located at SUS.