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Pitchfork Pretty Hate Machine 2010 Review:

Nine Inch Nails 
Pretty Hate Machine
[Universal; 2010]
9.5
In later years, Reznor would push all the ideas on Pretty Hate Machine even further—into a sputtering maelstrom, depressive stillness, zoned-out trance-states, and terrible beauty. But the ideas are all there already, contained in a 10-song capsule that ends quickly enough that everything lingers. Most of the songs on Pretty Hate Machine are fairly long, but no time is wasted. This new reissue doesn’t much alter that original experience. The remaster job doesn’t sound much different from the original article, and the sole bonus track, a sexed-up B-side cover of Queen’s “Get Down Make Love”, sort of misses the point; this was, in a lot of ways, an album about not getting laid. So the real reason to revisit the album is the album itself, nothing else. Now that Reznor has retired the NIN touring institution and become a sort of Internet-friendly cool-uncle figure, it’s pretty striking to go back to that seismic first strike and re-feel all the stuff we first felt hearing this thing.

Pitchfork Pretty Hate Machine 2005 Review:

Nine Inch Nails 
Pretty Hate Machine
[TVT; 1989/2005]
5.6
But there are just too many embarrassingly distinct time-stamps of 1989-ness to ignore: the hilarious talk-rap vocals of “Down In It”, that Chili Peppers poppy bass on “Sanctified”, the “Goodbye Blue Sky” rip of “Something I Can Never Have”. Like most self-serious music, time hasn’t gone easy on the depressive couplets (fill in the rhyme!: “bow down before the one you serve…”) and haunted-house keyboards of Reznor’s debut, eroding away much of what must’ve been shocking and novel about it 17 years ago. Unlike The Downward Spiral or Broken, Pretty Hate Machine’s re-release reveals the album to be an artifact, perhaps historically valuable, but as anachronistic as Napoleon in a water park.



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