Tuesday, November 28, 2000 Volume 66, Issue 69



Nine Inch Nails offers strong remix

Nine Inch Nails

Things Falling Apart
Nothing Records

*** 1/2

By Chris Stelmak
Contributing Writer

The obsessive gothic kid who helped lead industrial into the spotlight is back again with another album. The Fragile has had its time -- now we can listen to Things Falling Apart.

Another Nine Inch Nails remix shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody who has followed the band. Broken was followed with Fixed, The Downward Spiral gave birth to Further Down the Spiral and now The Fragile is broken down into Things Falling Apart..

While remixes usually are not nearly as creative as the original, NIN has a knack for releasing very strong remixes. The perfectionistic qualities of Trent Reznor usually pay off to create mixes with interwoven sounds and effects to give the music more depth.

The album may not live up to its predecessors, but is still worthwhile to the avid Reznor fan.

Three different versions of "Starf--kers Inc." probably would not be many people's first choice for a track list, but it is interesting to hear what has been done with each.

One of the versions has a relaxing beginning that just flows into blips and turbulence of a wacked-out version of the original. Another version has synthesizers with a 1980s sound that put the listener right into a European discotheque. The third version attempts to take on all the cheezy effects and sounds that big rock stars use.

The middle of the album transitions with a surprising classical version of "The Frail." Violins hum together to create a strong piece. Because it is NIN, it is not surprising that extra noises rise up to break up the flow.

The album, however, does include more than just mixes. It contains a track that was not released with The Fragile; it's surprising that there was extra material to record after releasing the two-CD set. Titled "The Great Collapse," this song will easily be looked over because it is not one of NIN's best instrumentals.

One could swear that the cover of Gary Numan's "Metal" was written by NIN, unless the listener knew otherwise. The fuzzed-out repetitive beats start off the track with a sketchy psychotic tone. As the track progresses, the harsh grit slowly mellows out into a smooth and very Nails ending.

Things Falling Apart is nothing ground-breaking for NIN, but it adds another strong remix album into its library. A little humor and a touch of classical break up the album to keep it from getting monotonous and creates an album that can really hold itself together.

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