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View Full Version : The hand-crafted sound of The Fragile



slopesandsam
06-28-2013, 12:31 AM
I purposely haven't listened to The Fragile in years. My intention was to wait until the Deluxe edition came out, so that I might get to experience a facsimile of hearing it for the first time again. But the imminent release of new NIN got me so itchy to hear old NIN that I caved and listened to The Fragile again today.

I'm a NIN fan who thinks that YZ is one of NIN's best albums, and I think of The Slip as NIN's Low (not NIN's low point - NIN's version of the Bowie album "Low"), but The Fragile is still my all time favourite album, and I've been wanting more NIN that sounds like that pretty much since 1999. Until today, though, I didn't really have a good way of describing that sound to myself. But listening to the album again, I realised that every noise mixed into The Fragile sounds hand-crafted; painstaking carved by a master audio carpenter. And there are thousands of them, expertly fitted together.

Post-Fragile NIN doesn't have this quality. It sounds like pre-packaged noises, expertly fitted together. I might be dead wrong about that. I know basically nothing about music production - hence my ridiculous carpentry metaphor.

I don't have a particular problem with this. As I said, I adore YZ. It was exactly the sort of crunchy, electronic cacophony I wanted to hear when it came out. I might even go so far as to say that Vessel is my favourite individual NIN song. And I wouldn't be surprised to find out that hand-crafting all those sounds for TF was insanely hard, painful work that Trent never wants to have to go through again. But man, I'd love to hear some NIN like that again now.

Emil Dorbell
06-28-2013, 02:24 AM
The Fragile sure is something else. But it's born from pain and from what I can tell Trent's in a pretty good place these days. Also, isn't Trent quite convinced that nobody likes The Fragile?

onthewall2983
06-28-2013, 02:57 AM
"organic" is the bullshit metaphor I'd use but yours isn't BS at all. Right on the money in fact. It's hands-down my favorite back-to-forward NIN record. It's tied with TGWTDT as my favorite records of Trent's. And as much as I prefer him as an instrumentalist, I must say it'll be nice to have new material with him singing again. I don't have much hope that this will best TF​, but I'll happily eat my words if that is the case.

jmtd
06-28-2013, 04:58 AM
The Fragile sure is something else. But it's born from pain and from what I can tell Trent's in a pretty good place these days. Also, isn't Trent quite convinced that nobody likes The Fragile?

TF tracks get a lot of live airing, so I doubt it.

BenAkenobi
06-28-2013, 08:05 AM
TF tracks get a lot of live airing, so I doubt it.

not on my shift, sir!
(and before i get yelled at, it was one song “No, you don't” on August 1st 2007)

jmtd
06-28-2013, 08:49 AM
not on my shift, sir!
(and before i get yelled at, it was one song “No, you don't” on August 1st 2007)

I'm just lucky: The Frail, the Wretched, No, You Don't, Starfuckers, Inc (http://www.ninwiki.com/2005/07/10_Manchester,_UK); Somewhat Damaged, We're in this Together, The Big Come Down, TTTWWA, Starfuckers, again (http://www.ninwiki.com/2007/02/26_Manchester,_UK); Frail/Wretched again, The Big Comedown again, No, You Don't again (http://www.ninwiki.com/2007/08/21_Edinburgh,_UK); Somewhat Damaged again, La Mer, The Fragile, Gone, Still*, The Way Out Is Through, TDTWWA again (http://www.ninwiki.com/2009/07/14_Manchester,_England). Actually looking at that I think I've been damn lucky.



* Yeah I know, doesn't quite count

Shadaloo
06-28-2013, 10:24 AM
He said something to the effect of him feeling "like people hated it at the time, but now it seems to be everyone's favorite record".

And I did the same thing, after holding out for 5.1 for so long I caved and listened to it yesterday. To this day I couldn't say whether I hold it or TDS in higher esteem. Blows me away every time.

jmtd
06-28-2013, 12:55 PM
I think we'll see TF deluxe next year, perhaps propping up the latter half of the tour.

KarenLeslie
06-28-2013, 01:55 PM
I've never held the Fragile with the highest of regard the way a plethora of other NIN fans do. Too much of it sounds forced. I know he was expected to deliver something monumental after TDS, but even at two albums worth of material, it doesn't reach anywhere near the heights that TDS does. Hell, I'd even put Year Zero over the Fragile, as far as cohesive, focused artistic statements go.

I feel the same. When I first got TF I basically used it as a Just Like You Imagined CD single because that was the only song I felt compelled to listen to over and over again. Other songs eventually grew on me, but it's never been a favorite.