Things Falling Apart

Nine Inch Nails

Nothing / Interscope Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Matthew Turk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/29/2002

It's time to face the facts. The Fragile was not a success for Nine Inch Nails - people had expected Downward Spiral II and had gotten Trent Reznor's The Wall. It didn't sell very well, it was panned by critics (including our very own Christopher Thelen) and many considered it the last shout of a bored visionary.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Despite that, however, Reznor was not performing the music just to cater to the fans - as evidenced by the delayed followup EP, Things Falling Apart. This album features remixes, cut music, and different interpretations of songs that had, by the time it was released, been fairly well absorbed by his fanbase. It was a bit of a risk - one that isn't terribly unfamiliar to NIN (witness the forty-five remixes of "Head Like A Hole") but a risk nonetheless.

And, somehow, it works. Not every track is great, but they do stand (mostly) independently from their counterparts on The Fragile. It flows reasonably well, and is even an enjoyable listen. It's certainly not a Must Have, but it's a good exploration of what some saw as failed potential on The Fragile. (For the record, I love The Fragile. Sorry Chris!)

The first few songs are a bit meandering, slow visions of other songs, but the pace quickly picks up into "The Wretched," which comes across as a bit more raw emotionally than the version that made the album. A pounding sense of urgency accompanies the rising music, which pays off toward the middle of the song. The rest is a bit weak, but interesting.

I must make another confession. I hate the song "Starfuckers, Inc." But, somehow, the three versions on this disc make it worth listening to - and while I'm not a big Gary Numan fan, I do like Trent's version of "Metal" a lot. And my favorite song from The Fragile is represented here; "Where Is Everybody?" is remixed into a lonely, computerized plea. It makes me want to watch 2001 again. "The Frail," done in an all-string arrangement, is also quite interesting, but not quite amazing.

Overall, the new songs are good, and most of the remixes are enjoyable. Not a must-have unless you're a fan, however.

Rating: B-

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© 2002 Matthew Turk and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Nothing / Interscope Records, and is used for informational purposes only.