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Pretty Hate Machine established Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor as a creative yet commercial recording artist; his industrial tones managed to find a groove that attracted rather than repelled an audience. Reznor, however, wasn’t just some grinder-come-lately but a technologically astute musician who understood the dynamics of intense music and who was looking for new ways to express his inner rage. Broken is the 1992 EP that firmly established his reputation and set up the anticipation for his incredibly abrasive masterwork, 1994’s The Downward Spiral. Broken begins with barely a whisper (“Pinion”) before throwing itself full-force into an industrial fan of rough-shard guitars and dramatic atmospherics. “Wish,” “Last,” and “Happiness In Slavery” form a powerful core that stands out that much more considering the overall brevity of the project. By the time the EP peaks with “Gave Up,” NIN has almost transformed into the most sonically enhanced garage band of all-time. Two additional hidden tracks are featured in a cover of Adam Ant’s “(You’re So) Physical” that features Reznor’s most sensual vocal to date, and “Suck,” a tense piece that bounces between a light funk and a doom-laden resolution.

Customer Reviews

It's anything but broken

"Broken" is the EP that came after NIN's first studio effort, "Pretty Hate Machine". Whereas "PHM" was a dark synth-pop piece that focused on an unnamed girl, Broken is an intense metal EP. "Pinion" is a short instrumental that serves only to lead into "Wish". "Wish" itself is possibly the best song on the album, using distorted guitars and synths along with Trent's rage-filled lyrics to make a perfetcly angry song. "Last" has a similar attitude to "Wish", but it more conventional (but it still has a wealth of hate). "Help Me I am in Hell" is the other instrumental on the CD, and is full of tension and rising action but never reaches it climax. "Happiness in Slavery" is an amazing, unique, disturbing song where Trent proclaims "Don't open your eyes/ You won't like what you see/ I have found/ You can find happiness in slavery", a powerful metaphor. In the background (actually, foreground) are dark mechanical noises that resembles that of "Mr. Self Destruct", but with a bit of "Reptile" flair. "Gave Up" serves as a great ending to the CD (7 and 8 are technically hidden tracks), with distorted vocals leading into a strong chorus. The two covers, "Physical (You're So)" and "Suck" havea more glam rock feel, but are still powerful. I reccomend this EP whole-heartedly if you want to hear a darker NIN.

Must Have!

This is by far #1 on my list of favorite NIN albums. Most likely the most industrial of the collection; with high energy, pumping iron, and fuzz-arific guitars!! "Happiness In Slavery" is one great example: within the first second, you hear pistons, valves, metal, machinery mixed with "slave screams" of Trent Reznor. Yet the chorus brings it down with a more defined beat and funk-bass. Metal, noise, synth, fuzz, and a faint sense of helplessness in the lyrics makes this album a five-star on my list. Any fan of Nine Inch Nails, NEEDS to have Broken in their collection!


In my opinion, this is probably NIN's angriest album. Broken beats and angry guitar riffs are what make this album. The title really fits.


Formed: 1989 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Nine Inch Nails were the most popular industrial group ever and were largely responsible for bringing the music to a mass audience. It isn't really accurate to call NIN a group; the only official member is singer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, who always remained solely responsible for NIN's musical direction (he was, however, supported in concert by a regular backing band). Unlike the vast majority of industrial artists, Reznor wrote melodic, traditionally structured songs where lyrics...
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