Tag Archives: Trent Reznor

Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral: 20th Anniversary

Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the release of what is said to be “one of the most upsetting, misunderstood, and enduring album of the ’90s.”

This is by far one of my all-time favourite albums. I’m a sucker for concept albums; they’re cohesive, smart, and take you on a journey that makes the listening experience much more engaging and memorable. Each song of The Downward Spiral can really only be fully understood within the rest of the album. Without the other songs, each song is incomplete.

The tracks of the dark and unsettling concept album take us through the twisted steps of the destruction of a man. The plot follows his descent into his own inner world where he eventually meets his demise. The album opens with “Mr. Self Destruct”, which sets the tone for the rest of it and foreshadows the conclusion while serving as an introduction. The rest of the album takes us through the man — some say a serving as a reflection of Trent Reznor himself — dealing with religion, dehumanization, violence, disease, society, drugs, sex, and leading up to suicide. The last one is represented in the final track of The Downward Spiral, “Hurt”: the famously bone-chilling, disturbing song that was covered by none other than Johnny Cash himself. A lot of people don’t realize that the  song was originally the conclusion to Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral.

This is one of the smartest, twisted, and most haunting albums I’ve ever listened to. It’s one of those albums that, in order to fully appreciate it, you have to close the blinds, take the phones off the hook (kind of an outdated saying, maybe just turn your cell on silent) and listen to it — all the songs, back to back. It’s by far Trent Reznor’s most mature album to date, and it’s crazy to think that it’s been twenty years since its release in 1994. It’s brilliant. Plain and simple. Happy birthday, The Downward Spiral!

Have you guys listened to it? What do you think? What are some of your favourite albums?

 

All Images Courtesy of Google Images.

“Music’s biggest night… to be disrespected.

…A heartfelt F*CK YOU guys.”

Tell it like it is, Trent Reznor!

The 56th Grammy Awards took place last night, and up until the end, I was impressed. I was even entertained by the performances from musicians I never listen to, like Beyonce, P!nk, and Taylor Swift. Needless to say, I was floored by Metallica and Lang Lang coming together for a unique version of “One”, marrying the already hauting riffs and the beautiful piano. And speaking of marriage, how about those 33 couples — gay and straight — getting married by Queen Latifa and Madonna while Macklemore performs “Same Love”?! That was such an emotional and moving moment, even Keith Urban was seen shedding a man tear or five. It was amazing seeing Daft Punk perform for the first time in six years with none other than Stevie Wonder while Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr and Steven Tyler dance their old, wrinkly butts off in the crowd. I think my favourite performance was the Imagine Dragons mashup with Kendrick Lamar. It was unbelievable. If you haven’t seen it, here it is. The first half isn’t really my cup of tea, but from about 2:20 on, it’s just chills.

Between that and a new song performed by half of the Beatles, the performances were great. But that’s all there seemed to be: performances. They left no time to announce most of the categories I was looking forward to. I had to google the winners after the awards show was over. (Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day won Best Rock Album, apparently. No big deal.)

When it came to the last performance of the night, the grand finale, I was beyond excited. It was the performance I’d been waiting for since they first announced it weeks ago, the performance that I watched the whole 80-hour show for. Trent Reznor, Dave Grohl, Queens of the Stone Age, together?! Basically the Avengers of rock assembling to blow our minds. Perfect, right?! Well it would’ve been, were it not for whatever dumbass running the show cutting their set. I’m not lying when I say I almost threw my phone at the TV. Just over halfway through “My God is the Sun”, their performance became the soundtrack to the show’s credits, then it cut off completely. Yeah, the show was supposed to end at 9:30, and when they cut off the performance, it was already 9:45. But what show starts at 9:45? None, because that’s dumb. What could have possibly been waiting to air at 9:45? Nothing. So why didn’t they just keep going until 10? What was the point? I’m bitter and angry, and I’m not the only one. Trent Reznor’s tweet “Music’s biggest night… to be disrespected. A heartfelt F*CK YOU guys.” has already been retweeted nearly 15,000 times in just 15 hours, and the internet is covered in profane, angry words about what happened. They should have managed their time better, cut down the performances, actually announced some winners (weird, right?) and not pointlessly cut off the performance of the night halfway through a time slot. It was rude, disrespectful, and just a douchebag move. The performance was nothing less than amazing before it got cut, though. I’d post a video of it but the Grammy thugs are out in full force, taking down any and all videos of it from youtube.

The 56th Grammys strung me along, gave me hope, led me on for almost four hours, then left me broken hearted with nowhere to turn for comfort other than a big ol’ tub of Ben & Jerrys.

 

All Images Courtesy of Google Images.