Sound — 10
Ahh, The Fragile. Halo 14. This is it. A two disc full length album featuring some of the best NIN tunes to roll out of frontman/1 man band Trent Reznor's head. Released in 1999, the album features 23 amazingly composed material that almost seem to take the listener on a vast journey and reminisions like how the songs "The Frail" and "The Fragile" sound very similar. This also happens on tracks like "La Mer"(one of my favourites) and "Into the Void". The songs are very crisp sounding with nasty Industrial guitars-that-have-been-pro tooled-beyond-recognition on tracks like "No, You Don't" and "Starf--kers, Inc" and the somewhat creepy synth solos in "The Wretched". Not as political as Year Zero(2007), but it is very moody and this album is great to listen to if you have "one of those days".
Lyrics — 9
I absolutely love the lyrical content of this album. The words always seem to fit with each and every song, and not to mention a story behind them all. There are a fair share of instrumental tracks, but a very cool one is "Pilgrimage". It seems to be a "double sided" song, as it starts off with an almost happy, prosperous feeling which later turns into something way more synical and evil.I like the way Reznor creates these feelings and senses without using any lyrics at all. Reznor's voice still yields a very strong pressence and can be soft and quiet when the need arises, but it is nowhere as powerful as 89's Pretty Hate Machine.
Overall Impression — 10
An amazing accomplishment for the band in the 10 years since PHM and '94s Downward Spiral. The album is so vast and deep it is grotesque at times and subtle at another time, it all depends on what you look for in an instant classic album. If you want to get into NIN's music, or never heard them ever, I suggest starting with this.