The Downward Spiral


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Bob Waliszewski

Album Review

Pro-Social Content


Objectionable Content

This disc is obscenely mean-spirited. A man holds a gun to a woman’s head and demands oral sex (“Big Man with a Gun”), saying he may kill her anyway, just for kicks. On “Closer,” lead singer Trent Reznor rants, “I want to f— you like an animal/I want to feel you from the inside . . . My whole existence is flawed/You get me closer to God.” He refers to a female as his “precious whore” (“Reptile”) and viciously attacks Christianity (“Heresy,” “Mr. Self Destruct”). Sentiments such as “Find you, taste you, f— you, use you, scar you, break you” pass for sweet nothings on “Eraser.” This disc is strewn with obscenities. The title cut promotes suicide as a means of solving one’s woes (“He put the gun into his face/Bang!/So much blood for such a tiny little hole/Problems have solutions/A lifetime of f—ing things up fixed in one determined flash”). Truly awful stuff.

Summary Advisory

In Spin magazine [2/96], Trent Reznor admitted, “I think The Downward Spiral actually could be harmful, through implying and subliminally suggesting things.” He’s right. Anyone connected with this hateful sewage should be ashamed. So should the millions of young fans who bought copies. Pray that your teen isn’t one of them.

Bob Waliszewski
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