2017 reissue - When Trent Reznor debuted The Fragile, the followup to his star-making The Downward Spiral some five years after that record’s release, comparisons to Pink Floyd’s go-to double album The Wall abounded. For one thing, Reznor tapped that record’s producer, Bob Ezrin, to help sequence from the chaotic collection of tracks he’d assembled. For another, both records were released at the turn of their respective decades, and could be seen as summary statements for much of the music of the ten years that preceded them.
But the most direct point of comparison is the sheer scale of both recordings. No, not their length, but their height, if you will. Years of overfamiliarity might have dulled our appreciation for just how goddamn towering they both sound. The Wall’s two versions of its anthemic introductory track “In the Flesh” and David Gilmour’s soaring solo on “Comfortably Numb” all but demand you look upward to see where the notes are coming from. Reznor and his collaborators—most notably producer Alan Moulder and guest guitarist Adrian Belew—similarly made The Fragile’s songs sound like vertical constructions, piling element on element, often with dizzying rapidity. And in its newly remastered and rereleased incarnation, The Fragile (2017 Definitive Edition), the record scrapes the sky like never before.
|A2||The Day The World Went Away||5:04|
|B1||We're In This Together||7:19|
|B3||Just Like You Imagined||3:52|
|C2||No, You Don't||3:36|
|C4||The Great Below||5:17|
|D1||The Way Out Is Through||4:17|
|D2||Into The Void||4:49|
|D3||Where Is Everybody?||5:40|
|D4||The Mark Has Been Made||4:46|
|E1||10 Miles High||5:09|
|E5||The New Flesh||3:42|
|F1||I'm Looking Forward To Joining You, Finally||4:20|
|F2||The Big Come Down||4:12|
|F3||Underneath It All||2:47|