Nine Inch Nails- Pretty Hate Machine (2010 Remaster) album review

Trent Reznor has had a battle with his old record company since going independent back in 2008. Ghosts, The Slip, and his new project How To Destroy Angels, were all critically well received by critics, but a majority of his fan base splits in different directions in regards to his works since 2005’s With Teeth album. He recently acquired the rights to his first album “Pretty Hate Machine” which dates back to 1989. He used to work as a janitor in a record studio, and he talked the owner into letting him use some of the recording equipment, and this was the result. The birth of Nine Inch Nails, and one of the most highly regarded industrial albums to surface.

This album is also a favorite of mine, from the concept to the inception. The songs are very dark, and the electronics are pulsing. I need not to review the 1989 classic album, however I do want to bring attention to the new updated remaster of Pretty Hate Machine which was finally released to the masses this past Tuesday.

Most people tend to have negative opinions about remastered albums, I don’t really understand why. It just depends on what your way of listening to music is. Sometimes when musicians make albums, especially when this was Trent Reznor’s first album as Nine Inch Nails, people become used to hearing the tracks a certain way. Most of the time, it’s usually just the vocals, bass, and drums which are most attended to by average music listeners. With the 2010 Remastered version of Pretty Hate Machine, Reznor wanted to bring the small details in the tracks, from the analog electronic instrumentation to the gloomy pads, and clicks of the drum machines into the forefront in today’s electronic music age. The result sounds downright gorgeous. The vocals have also been cleaned up, and the bass is much punchier and less muddy. All the tracks really shine with the production, particularly Down In It, Sin, Ringfinger, and Head Like A Hole. There is also a new unreleased track called “Get Down, Make Love” which sounds quite dated for Reznor now a days, but makes a nice addition to this remastered treat to bring a little more closure on this industrial classic.

So I just want to make it clear, that sometimes it is perfectly good to hear a remastering of a classic album, particularly if it is put in high quality or surround sound. Reznor is a firm believer of lossless audio, and quality sounds, which makes his music sound so cutting edge. He’s one of the few in the electronic music scene that can preach longevity and also remain on top with cutting edge sounds and innovative live shows.

So yes, I would advise purchasing this album on CD, so you can have the option of exporting the audio into iTunes as an Apple Lossless Audio file. For this record sound quality is tip top, and you will be pleased to hear real hi-fi audio in action. I was up above it, but now I’m down in it!


Nine Inch Nails- Ringfinger (Remastered)
Check out the website for Pretty Hate Machine on nin.com!

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6 Responses to Nine Inch Nails- Pretty Hate Machine (2010 Remaster) album review

  1. I agree with you on this. Remastered quality is so much better than some of the earlier Cd’s that were cut and released. The technology for CD quality wasn’t (back then) what it is today. I see it as an improvement.

    The only time I don’t like remastered Cd’s is when they change the original album cover… But sound quality wise I always choose the remastered disc when I can. For NIN that would be a better buy too considering all Reznor does with the subtleties in the creation of his music.

    • exactly! that’s why I made sure I got the product physical. I actually don’t like remasters so much, but with NIN they are always worth listening to. I remember hearing several different remasters of The Downward Spiral, and each one got better and better as all the subtleties were made more noticeable. I think that’s what I like most about NIN is all the detail and subtlety behind Trent’s music. It’s much better than taking a thick layer of bass and making it coat everything else, or making the track so empty so it’s just a stupid bass riff. It is very common to hear such tomfoolery in electronic music now a days. I think this PHM remaster, is the most high tech, high resolution stereo audio recording I have heard to date. It’s soooo clean! scary.

  2. “Get down make love” is a Queen cover. It was released as a b-side on the (if I’m not mistaken) Sin single.

    • Oh really? I wouldn’t know b/c I never got the single. That’s pretty cool that he remastered it, and put it on this remastered version. He couldn’t do anything with Pretty Hate Machine until he got the rights back from his old record company apparently. That’s so shitty if you ask me.

  3. I think I still have my old cassette of this one… we should listen to them back to back for contrast notes.

    There are some bands like Fleetwood Mac (via Lindsey Buckingham) who filled out the spaces on the analog with some really weird textures. I thought that was kinda neat because it was the age before digital. Now that he has the technology however, the guy is a complete madman.

    I agree with you about the bass. I highly dislike poorly produced music that tricks things just to cover up flaws. I guess that’s why guys like Reznor have one up on other musicians, because he knows how to get what he wants the old fashioned way first, and the newer technology just makes it all that much better.

    • Exactly! You see it in his live shows too, that he is amazing with keeping up with the times. This is exactly what the kids need to get these days. That’s the sign of a real pro right there.

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