Sound — 7
Trent Reznor traded in his keyboard for an extra guitar and a distortion pedal to make his second major album. The EP was created in turmoil after he had a split with TVT Records because of a contract dispute and the result is heard in Broken. When Trent gets pissed off, he's not in the mood to write a keyboard masterpiece, hes in the mood to beat the living crap out of some drums, scream (write the lyrics at a later date) and turn the distortion to ten. This is NIN's third or fourth best album because of the "genericness" of the sound. Trent should stick to Industrial metal and keep his keyboard by his side.
Lyrics — 10
I always have loved Reznor's lyrics because he puts so much of his soul into them. No amount of distortion can take away from the powerful lyrics of Nine Inch Nails (even they are difficult to understand). If NIN ever comes to your town, I highly recomend going no matter what the cost just to see Trent's mind, body and soul come together as one. The passion flowing through the 950 watt amps is a religious experience that all should indulge in.
Overall Impression — 9
Comparing Broken to Downward Spiral or Hate Machine is unfair because I think Trent was a different man durning the making of those two albums. Broken was an attempt to progress into another genre, but luckily by the time Downward Spiral came out, he realised that he didn't need to. He thought he needed to evolve away from the keyboard, but in the end he didn't. While singles such as "Wish" will always be remembered, the EP as a whole will never be as widely praised as Pretty Hate Machine, Downward Spiral, or even The Fragile. That being said. Compared side by side to other albums in the same genre (not counting other NIN albums), Broken is definitely pretty close to the top. It is for lack of a better word, pretty damn catchy and I sure as hell could do a lot worse when I die and go to hell and Satan plays one album on loop for all eternity. Even though it is an EP, Trent still plays three songs from it every concert: Wish, Gave up, and Suck.