Another year, another Nine Inch Nails remix album. Trent Reznor must be tapping into that vein of alienation and guilt quite well by now, and after the success of “Broken” (1992) came the remix album “Fixed” (some six weeks later, and bloody excellent): then in 1994 came “The downward spiral” followed by “Further down the spiral” a patchy overlong remix album affair, especially as there were 2 different versions of the remix albums which featured 5 or 6 exclusive tracks each depending on whether you bought it in the UK or as a US import (some 17 remix tracks or so in total). And even, then, there was a total of 3 hours of remixes (including these 2 versions of the album, the 60 minutes “Closer to god” single and the “march of the pigs” 5 mixes EP) from the album – which was overkill. And now, the great sprawl continues.
“Things falling apart” is the third remix album in a row from a third studio album, and frankly, the formula is getting thin and predictable. With the range of 27+ tracks spread across the original “Fragile” album, the scope for remixes is quite frankly, immense, and criminally ignored. Of the 10 tracks here, one (“Starfuckers Inc.”) is included 3 times, and many of the better, more interesting tracks on “The Fragile” - such as “Somewhat Damaged”, “Into The Void” or “La Mer” are ignored. Quite frankly, given the precedent set before, its not a good omen, and “Things Falling Apart” is the least impressive, least essential Nine Inch Nails release to date.
Unlike “Further Down the Spiral” , which retails at mid price, this collection is fullpriced, and far from the value we could expect previously. It could be much much longer and much better value, by including the tracks on the original vinyl release (and not the double CD) of “the Fragile”, as well as other b-side remixes unavailable outside the UK (like the remixes of “the day the world went away” or “new flesh”), quite simply, and more thought through, rather than the cash-in effort it seems to be. Musically its as awkward and weird as any NIN release, but really, I have to doubt the motives of Trent Reznor here and wonder, why o why do we need another remix album, especially one as weak, inconsistent and unnecessary as this.
A damp squib compared to its predecessors, ill thought out, incoherent in places, and really, not very good to be honest. Avoid, unless for completisms’ sake.
6Graham Reed's Score