The Downward Spiral review by Nine Inch Nails

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  • Released: Mar 8, 1994
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (102 votes)
Nine Inch Nails: The Downward Spiral
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Sound — 10
Its rare to find an album so diverse, touching so many corners of dynamics and timbres, that every song conjures up a feeling or memory. Downward Spiral achieves this, which makes it so appealing. The textures in downward spiral never cease to enchant and engage me. The soft "chss" sound at the start of eraser, for example, reminds me of blowing air through a straw; the machine loop of ruiner, being true to the name Industrial. On no album have I heard so many layers that every time I listen I find something new in the frey.

Lyrics — 8
One of Trents strengths and weaknesses: His lyrics can sometimes being cringe-worthy and overbearing, and sometimes so brutal and true that it reaches out and tells you something you've been thinking all along. Lyrics-wise, this is Nine Inch nails greatest album, in particular Hurt, which makes me shudder with his soft, then grating singing. Vocals on this album, as usual, are a particularly strong, as they fit perfectly with the sound. "I do not want this" is my favourite song, with a warning repetition of the title, then and blast of defiance, "don't you tell me how I feel!".

Overall Impression — 10
4x platinum, no. 2 only billboard 100, cover by Jonny Cash and more "top 100 albums" lists than you could possibly count. There's a reason for all this. This is definately one of my favourite albums of all time, so varied yet united by a feeling of being so alone. In the year 2408 this will be considered 20th century Mozart.

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