Pretty Hate Machine Review

artist: Nine Inch Nails date: 06/12/2008 category: compact discs
Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine
Release Date: Nov 1989
Label: TVT
Genres: Industrial, Alternative Pop/Rock, Industrial Metal
Number Of Tracks: 10
Pretty Hate Machine set the stage for NIN to become one of the wolrd's biggest acts and is also responsible for bringing Industrial music out of the underground to a huge new audience.
 Sound: 9
 Lyrics: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 9 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Pretty Hate Machine Reviewed by: Metal_link111, on november 15, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: As a pioneer of the industrial/darkwave genre, Trent Reznor's first of his many masterpieces begins here. It is the most dominating sound throughout the entire album of electronic synth mixed with angry and skillful originality that encapsulates a listener dragging them into a new world of emotion. It begins with probably Nine Inch Nails' most recognised song, "Head Like A Hole." Driven by a beautifully catchy riff, it cascades into the electronic vivacity of "Terrible Lie." The innovative style of Trent's sound in "Terrible Lie" and throughout the entire album is enough to engage any listener of any style into the realms of industrial rock. The album continues by flowing into Trent's first-ever produced song "Down In It." Immersed in rap-style vocals it still follows the dominating sound of the album. The quietly almost silenced tone of "Something I Can Never Have" fixates on the personal side of the album and slowly moves into an entirely different direction with songs such as "Sin," "The Only Time" and "Ringfinger." // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics of this album are probably by far the most eloquent. "Head Like A Hole," "Terrible Lie," "Sin," "Something I Can Never Have" and "Ringfinger" are, in my opinion, the more diverse songs of the album and lie on the boundaries of heart-break, power, greed, religion and ambiguity. Trent's capacity to express his ideas in each song through a variety of different emotions and experiences allows a person to vicariously experience the feelings with him. His voice is not so versatile, but it is just another essentially important instrument in the creation of his industrial feel. // 9

Overall Impression: All in all, the originality and highly innovative style of this album reflects the creative artistic nature of Trent Reznor and is highly recommended for anyone wishing to undertake a new musical path. // 10

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overall: 9
Pretty Hate Machine Reviewed by: bassplayer496, on november 25, 2006
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album's sound is great. It's a very synthy, keyboard driven sound. This is industrial metal, but what I like is that it differs from industrial metal in the way that it doesn't have distorted vocals, which is fine with me. It has a great, techno dance feel to it. Trent Reznor amazingly mixes industrial and pop nusic to make this great album. Although do to lack of guitars and guitar solos, this may not be a good choice for regular metal fans, the downward spiral would be a better choice for that. But this has a great synthy industrial sound. // 9

Lyrics: I've always love Trent Reznors lyrics. His lyrics are really nothing but very dark poetry. On the opening song, "Head Like A Hole" he sings in the chorus, "Head like a hole, black as your soul, I'd rather die, than give you control" I think that's a great song line, and it's good to show what Trents about. This album was written basically because Trent was pissed at a girl. I wish every time I got pissed at a girl I made a brilliant album. Also, in songs like "terrible lie" Trent asks God questions such as "why are you doing this to me?" // 9

Overall Impression: 01. Head Like A Hole - probably the most famous and recognizable song on the album, with big radio play, starts with weird, electronic glitch sounds, than goes into a drum machine, than goes into a beautifully catchy keyboard riff. Relatively mild verses, and a very heavy chorus. With a famous "bow down before the one you serve" post chorus. 02. Terrible Lie - another famous song on the album, a heavy song that's getting mad at God, and the keyboard outro is magnificent. Another great song. 03. Down In It - a really weird song, the verse is almost rapped, this songs not as good as the two before it or the two to follow, but is has great keyboard riffs and a great chorus. A very danceable song. An enjoyable listen. But this song does have one line I really love. "I'll cross my heart and hope to die, but the needle's already in my eye." 04. Sanctified - this song should be more famous than it is, one of the best songs on the album. The intro has a weird haunting feel, then it goes into a slap bass sort of keyboard riff, one of the longest songs on the album, at about six minutes, it's a slow, haunting song. A very good song. 05. Something I Can Never Have - this might be my favorite song on the album, a slow piano ballad, a very dark song. It starts with the line, "I still recall the taste of your tears, echoing your voice just like the ringing in my ears" A very dark song, but also one of the best songs on the album. There's also a bit of lyrics written in the end of the song, but not actually in the song that I really like, they are. 06. Kinda I Want To - a more upbeat song, Filled with lots of keyboards and drums, not as good as most of the songs on the album, but not bad, just not as memorable. It has a really good chorus though. "I know it's not the right thing, I know it's not the good thing, but kinda I want to" Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad song, it's very catchy, just not as good as some of the others. 07. Sin - probably the second or third most famous song on the album, and I can see why, A very catchy song. Starts with a weird shuffling sound, then goes into strange synthy drum sounds, then into a great keyboard riff and singing in the verse, one of my favorite choruses on the album, "It comes down to this, your kiss, your fist" etc. A good song to download and see if you like it. 08. That's What I Get - it's not bad, it has a great opening riff, then goes into an average song. Not bad, but probably my least favorite song on the album. Not as much to say about this, but it's sort of slow, and has sort of a boring chorus. Still enjoyable, just not great. 09. The Only Time - not too bad. A more explicit song, "I don't want to think to much about what we should or shouldn't do" and "while the devil want to f--k me in the back of his car. I like the chorus though, "maybe I'm all messed up" "this is the only time I really feel alive." 10. Ringfinger - a great song. This might be my favorite song on the album, has my favorite keyboard riff and chorus on the album. The chorus is "Ringfinger, promise carved in stone, deeper than the sea, ringfinger, sever flesh and bone, and offer it to me" What makes the chorus so great is that it's sung very hauntingly, with a haunting keyboard riff to back it up. A five star song all the way. All in all, the downward spiral is my favorite nine inch nails album, but this is a close second, followed by the Fragile, but those three albums are all very close to me. This is a great place to start if you're trying to get into industrial music, this is well worth 15 or so dollars, you will not be dissapointed. // 9

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overall: 9.3
Pretty Hate Machine Reviewed by: Onlycloser, on june 28, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 7.3
Pretty Hate Machine Reviewed by: skellyscribbles, on june 12, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I always consider the sound on this album to be "Pre-Nine Inch Nails Nine Inch Nails", because it is so drastically different from any of Reznor's other material. "Industrial-pop" could be considered fitting to this album, since it obviously draws from industrial artists like Skinny Puppy, but on the other hand the structures are so typically pop, in comparison to Broken. Depeche Modian blips and calls scatter the album, and underneath it all there is a certain sense of longing and unworthiness that I can't explain. "That's what I get" starts with an electronic spinning sound, which feels empty and cold, summing up the album quite nicely. // 8

Lyrics: Lyrically this is very consistent with the rest of Reznor's work: depressing, self-loathing. But that's exactly what I expect and want when I listen to Nine Inch Nails, so that's good enough. Down In It has quite a nice contrast between an upbeat song and angst-filled lyrics. "I used to be somebody" really gives away everything about Reznors lyrics. The vocals on the album differ from the rest. It may be production problems, or it may be Reznors vocal skills, but he seems a lot more feeble here than in later albums. Pretty Hate Machine lacks the angry screams that he lets out occasionally, although this may just be to do with the theme of the album. // 6

Overall Impression: This album, overall, is very good. But Nine Inch Nails is not a very good band, it's an excellent band. That's why I don't consider it essential listening from the NIN catalogue. However, as the first album it is important to see how the later albums would develop. Essentially, Pretty Hate Machine combined with Broken EP makes The Downward Spiral, the final fantastic product that everyone knows and loves, and it is important to any true music fan to listen to this, even if it is just to hear the evolution of Nine Inch Nails from 80's Electronic Music to True Musical Genius. // 8

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