10 Albums That You Need To Listen To More Than Once

8. The Downward Spiral - Nine Inch Nails

The entire journey of Trent Reznor for the past few decades has been one of the most interesting careers in rock and roll. After already becoming one of the biggest bands in the world, Nine Inch Nails tapped into every bit of pain that Reznor had ever felt in his life, before finding his peace later in life and moving to scoring feature films alongside his music career. If you were around in the mid ‘90s though, you weren’t coming out of listening to the Downward Spiral without a few scars to show for it.

Because this album is one of the most brutal listening experiences anyone can go on, with songs that are looking to challenge you and pick you apart from the minute they begin. For people who only are familiar with songs like Closer, be warned that that’s probably the closest that this record comes to sounding poppy, using the rest of the track listing as an excuse for Reznor to lay into himself. When you start to actually listen to what he’s saying though, this runs as one of the most brutal concept albums ever made.

Starting at Mr. Self Destruct, Reznor seems to be playing a character that is actively trying to nullify his own life, as he tries to feed his destructive habits through everything from drugs to sex to even violence on the back half of the record. Even when the tracks get menacing like on Big Man With a Gun, there’s always a bit of a calm to level things out, like A Warm Place sounding like a happy memory away from the madness, until Hurt comes on as a way for Mr. Self Destruct to repent for all of the pain that he’s caused himself. There’s a lot of ugliness to see on this record, but there’s actually a beautiful message underneath if you’re willing to dig a little deeper.

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