1. Mr Self Destruct
4. March Of The Pigs
8. I Do Not Want This
9. Big Man With A Gun
10. Warm Place
13. Downward Spiral
This album is interesting, it marries the industrial noise of Einstruzende Neubaten with pop sensibilities to bridge the gap between industrial and mainstream music. It is actually pretty successful in that attempt, some might say too successful.
I would agree that it is almost too successful in bridging that gap, because really it is not a gap that really needs bridging. The album ends up, therefore, sounding like it is afraid to commit to an unpopular music style in order to appeal to a larger audience. This is also known as the "sell-out".
So what I am saying here is that this isn't hard enough! Or soft-enough, it's there in the middle somewhere. You will often be excited at the noise only to be bombarded with a slow musical moment or you'll be enjoying the melody just to be blitzed by noise. Some track present a better mix than others, Closer is a great track, but the video for it is better. So yes, it is interesting, but not that amazing.
4. The Downward Spiral
Reznor made a statement about working in the Tate house during a 1997 interview with Rolling Stone:
While I was working on Downward Spiral, I was living in the house where Sharon Tate was killed. Then one day I met her sister. It was a random thing, just a brief encounter. And she said: 'Are you exploiting my sister's death by living in her house?' For the first time, the whole thing kind of slapped me in the face. I said, 'No, it's just sort of my own interest in American folklore. I'm in this place where a weird part of history occurred.' I guess it never really struck me before, but it did then. She lost her sister from a senseless, ignorant situation that I don't want to support. When she was talking to me, I realized for the first time, 'What if it was my sister?' I thought, 'Fuck Charlie Manson.' I went home and cried that night. It made me see there's another side to things, you know?
Closer video, NSFW: