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As a placeholder between the full-length Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral, Broken packs a serious punch. Angrier and less poppy than Machine, this EP is full of noisy hooks, if such a thing is possible (check out that guitar riff on the full-throttle "Wish"), and much closer aesthetically to the industrial subgenre that informs Trent Reznor's music. As song titles like "Help Me I Am in Hell" suggest, Broken is a work of undiluted rage, which is, of course, a big part of its appeal. --Genevieve Williams
Top Customer Reviews
This is not only his angriest album, but also the only one that would really fall into a Metal category. You can tell that Trent had been listening to a lot of Ministry around this time, because it sounds pretty much like their heavier albums with better singing. That's not to say that it's a total rip-off, though. These songs are a lot catchier than Ministry was in their industrial-metal prime, and have a more melodic feel to them. There are also no political messages or samples, which were, and still are, a big part of Ministry.
The album opens with Pinion, a short instrumental that repeats the same 6 chords over and over. It begins almost silent with something that sounds like the wind in the background, but as the song goes on it gets louder and louder until it finally becomes undistorted. 3/5
Immediately after the last few chords of Pinion, Wish begins with a very memorable drum beat. This is probably the most well known song on the album. It has an interesting music video, and it won a Grammy for best Heavy Metal song of 1993. It's easy to see why. It follows Trent's signature loud-soft-loud plan, and it's as good as any of his heavier songs. 5/5
Next is my personal favorite song on the album, Last.Read more ›
While "Pretty Hate Machine" went for straight-forward industrial beats, "Broken" is far heavier, more aggressive, with more guitars. While the club/techno crowd may have been more receptive to the debut, "Broken" is an EP that would just as likely appeal to metal fans. Equal parts metal and industrial beats, "Broken" can be seen as a prelude, or a sneak preview of what Reznor would unveil two years later with his masterpiece "The Downward Spiral" (1994).
Clocking in slightly past the half-hour mark, with eight songs (two tracks are hidden, two are instrumentals) "Broken" is pretty short. But the EP is so angry, so aggressive, with no reprieve; the shortness in length probably works for the best.
"Broken" features the NIN classics and concert staples, "Wish," "Gave Up," and (the hidden track) "Suck." The lesser known "Last," "Happiness in Slavery," and a cover of Adam Ant's "Physical" (also hidden) are no less memorable. Instrumentals "pinion" and "Help me I am in Hell" help round out the CD.
Back in 1992 when CDs were relatively new to consumers, having ninety-one silent, second-long tracks separate the final two songs from the first six may have been cool and inventive. Now, however, it seems kind of pointless. Still, it's no big deal.
If you are a fan of NIN, "Broken" is just as essential to own as any of the studio albums.
You pop in the CD and you say, "What the hell? Why don't I hear anything?" Then after you check your speaker cables, you can distantly hear this faint "Perfect Drug"-like guitar. Then there are some words that are hard to understand. Basically this one and a half minute song is just a build-up into something fantastic, which is Wish.
Let me tell you, I first bought NIN's live CD and I loved this song. It was so different and so rocky and cool. I was really excited to pick up Broken so I could hear what the original recorded cersion sounded like. At first, I liked it better live, but then as I started listening to it, the perfection that was recording un-live was just so good. This heavy vocals and the crunching guitars are an excellent contrast to the tapping of the snare drum during the chorus. The lyrics are a tad poor though, for Reznor, who is, in my opinion, the best lyricist on the planet.
I was very much so into this song when I first picked up the CD, but then after listening to it so much, I realized that guitar-work was pretty damn tedious and the lyrics even repeated once.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is in my top 3 favorite NIN albums! I have it on my Ipod but this particular purchase was for the cassette, so worth it! Keeping it old school! Read morePublished 7 months ago by The Inked Butterfly
Not much stands out in this, but it blends in well enough with other NIN tracks.Published 8 months ago by Echo Lemming
i got this as a christmas gift for my husband. he is really enjoying itPublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
As with many others, I became familiar with the music of nine inch nails as a 14-15 year old teenager (of the 1990’s) via the song Closer courtesy of local rock radio And MTV. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Stella Carrier
Awesome power and creativity. The direction leader in the industry.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer