Jackie Listens to: Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine (1989)


A blast from the past, to be sure!  This was one of my most favorite albums in high school along with The Downward Spiral.  I was a nut for Nine Inch Nails and had a whole wall of my teenage bedroom dedicated to NIN clippings and pictures.  So this review may be colored by those past experiences (just a touch.)

There are so many people I remember listening to this album with!  There are so many times I remember looking to this album for solace!  I was in high school when The Downward Spiral came out and I loved it so much I just picked up Pretty Hate Machine just to get more Trent Reznor.  I was instantly hooked.  These albums came to me at an impressionable age, and one where I sorely needed an angry, angsty outlet, and this album really hit the spot for me. Screaming out the lyrics to Head Like A Hole (and most of the album) was entirely cathartic, and I can still feel that running through me today.  I’d still rather die than give you control, damnit.

Notable tracks?  For me, it’s everything.  This is a great, classic industrial album.  My favorites of them are the sexy Terrible Lie, the poignant and self-depreciating Something I Can Never Have, which heard many plays at my lovelorn teenage fingertips, and Ringfinger, which is the track that probably means the most to me emotionally.

Listen to it.  Pretty Hate Machine is a great album that stands up to the test of time.  I am a bit biased because of my history with the album, but I sure did enjoy listening to this album all the way through again.  It’s been a long time.


Jackie Listens to: The Cure’s Disintegration (1989)


This one was a request from a fan.  Another album I haven’t listened to all the way through before, though I wore out the hits like Lovesong and Lullaby in my youth.  The Cure has always spoken to my depression, and when I am depressed I need bands like The Cure to help buoy me to this world, to know my pain has been felt elsewhere and has been expressed.  This album absolutely fills that void for me.  Each and every song is a well-executed, heart-wrenching romp.  Robert Smith’s voice is perfect angst and hopelessness, perfect for the tortured teenage soul, as I came to this.

Lovesong is one of my favorite songs of all time, it’s so hopeful and pining, so comparatively upbeat to the rest of the album, and one of The Cure‘s biggest hits.  It would be hard to review this album without making a special note of it, and to admit I used to tearfully listen to it on repeat in my lovelorn teenage years.  However, this album is full of great songs, hypnotic rhythms that hook you, and real feelings that suck you in. Other noteworthy tracks are Plainsong, which opens the album beautifully, Pictures of You, which makes me feel like I’m in my gut-wrenching, heart-throbbing college days again, the moody, atmospheric Prayers for Rain, and the driving, titular Disintegration.

Disintegration is the absolute tops, some of The Cure‘s best, passionate and introspective with great songs throughout, highly recommended to everyone.