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BEWARE, this is the 2011 reissue and NOT the superb 2010 remaster. Avoid at all costs! The two star rating is purely based on the issue around sound quality, the music itself is excellent of course. I perhaps should stress that these songs don't actually sound bad, its just that (for once) the remaster is SO good it renders the original version completely redundant, and why have an inferior version?
I can still remember when I first heard this album. Nine Inch Nails was just starting, and they were about to explode onto the music scene. Its dark, gritty sound may be too much for some people sometimes, and the video clips exude a dark doomsday vibe that was so prevalent in the first part of NIN's career. I loved the original with all of its distortion and pumped up mixes, this album could bite! Since the grittiness that appealed to me is such a vital part of the album's mood I wasn't sure if remastering would actually make sense; after all, the whole point of remastering is to clean up, polish and remove 'unwanted' noises and artifacts. Wouldn't this destroy the album's very essence? Well, leave it up to Trent Reznor & all. to bypass this trap and come up with the same nasty, dark, gritty mood as the original, only better! The tracks are more vibrant and dynamic, and it feels like the album tracks fit better together now. In short, this is a must have for all NIN fans, even if you already own the original, and a pretty great album for anyone else (that is not afraid of the dark or creepy noises...).
A remastered version of NIN's ground breaking first album, I picked this up in preparation for their recent European Tour to reintegrate myself with these classic slabs of dark industrial pop.
The remastered sound quality is magnificent and gives the 80's synths and drum machines an extra sharpness missing from the original recordings, the guitars are crisp and the the vocals crystal clear. Extra additional Queen cover included in the release also.
A great remaster of a genuinely amazing and influential album.
The sound quality of the remaster of this album is substantially improved over the original CD. The synths and samples have far more atmosphere and depth, the bass and drums have much greater weight, and the soundstage is generally more pronounced. Some remasters are just louder and a bit cleaner than the original (The Cult's Love for example)but this isn't the case here. The original was very quiet and this isn't, but great care and attention is very apparent here. All in all it has a more analogue, vinyl feel to it which takes away the unnecessary harshness of the original. If you have a love of this album, I would strongly recommend the re-issue. There isn't a second disc of extras, but the qulity is so good I don't think it really matters. Essential purchase, thanks Trent.
I'll be honest here and say that I have only rediscovered NIN after quite a few years. I am SO glad I did! Not now having the original release of this album I cannot directly compare this remaster with it. I will say that it has been treated with respect and the tracks are as fresh and pack the high level of impact that I remember. I genuinely believe this to be one of the best debut albums made for a long while and the remaster gives it a new lease of life. If you don't have it, why not?
It all makes sense now: I became aware of Trent Reznor's work via a certain Mr David Bowie or at least I thought that was the case until finally getting around to buying Pretty Hate Machine - some of the songs I had been listening to at clubs long ago were here, including the song that makes you feel good about your dismay at modern society where money and sycophancy (stand up most Radio 1 DJs) gets you everywhere ala "Head Like A Hole". Second only to Rage Against the Machine's "Killing In The Name" for its sheer musical power and inventiveness. Both ahead of the rest of the pack at the time.
Pretty Hate Machine is timeless. Yes some of the beats and treatments are primative, but they are compelling. Above all what comes through is the quality (and often darkness) of Reznor's writing which was to go on to far greater heights in later work.