Pretty Hate Machine review by Nine Inch Nails

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  • Released: Oct 20, 1989
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (43 votes)
Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine

Sound — 9
The sound of Pretty Hate Machine is a dark sound, with a hint of '80s synth. This album definately shows the potential of what Nine Inch Nails accomplished and continue to accomplish. The story of how Trent recorded the demos for this album while he was a janitor at a recording studio is priceless. The fact that he rocorded them when there was no one in the studio at the moment is great. It is a true rock star story. The style of music used in this album is extremely dark, but you can't help but hear the 80'sness in it all. It's not a bad thing, it is just a fact of the time in which it was made. Just a flat out classic album that is a must for any serious musical admirer.

Lyrics — 10
The lyrics show great anger (anger that would become more noticable in the preceding albums) that seems directed towards the right kind of people. During the song Head Like A Hole, Trent Reznor seems to be singing about the rich who ignore the poor. Also lyrics about God seem to come up consistently throughout the record too. Reznor's singing skills are ripe for the harvesting in this record, with his voice continuing to sound just as good in preceding records too.

Overall Impression — 9
This album would be towards the end of my favorite Nine Inch Nails albums list, but it is definately worth the money and time. The most impressive songs of this record (to me) are: Head Like A Hole, Terrible Lie, Down In It, Something I Can Never Have, Sin, and The Only Time; all of which are phonominal. I love how you get to have another way in which to look at Trent Reznor. You get to hear his begginings. I hate how I still fail to understand the title, but I still love the title all the same. If this album was stolen from me I would put it on my list of CDs to buy in the future.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i love this album =) but my faves r The Downward Spiral and With Teeth
    NIN's best albums have to be Year Zero/The Fragile/Pretty Hate Machine. I actually do not enjoy The Downward Spiral apart from that haunting guitar solo in ruiner and piggy/hurt. With Teeth isn't super either, sounds over-produced and as if Trent was bored. Either get PHM/TDS/B-EP to begin with and then move on into deeper NIN territory.