Pitchfork revises its official stance on 'The Fragile' by Nine Inch Nails


the original was the review that sucked me into hate reading Pitchfork to begin with back in 2003.

bit of a headspinner to think that the original review was published eighteen years ago. obviously Pitchfork is unrecognisable from what it was back then.

still, it’s weird to see the ontological wound that snared me in the first place healed. I actually felt bad for liking the album all this time - some arrogant indie dude skewering your favourite album when you’re 15 can do that.


I actually remember quite liking the original review, and it was a gateway for me into reading Pitchfork too. The album has definitely aged better than the review though.


I was compelled by the way they hated all the music I liked, apart from Radiohead. I wanted to know what they actually did like, and the answer was largely, “a bunch of stuff you’ve never heard of”.

plus, Muse picked a Pavement song on this MTV2 feature they did that summer, and I thought it was weird and boring, and it turned out Pitchfork thought Pavement were great and Muse were mediocre.

very odd to see this particular revision, tho.


No one’s changed stance, these reviews were written by 2 different people.


But how many Pitchfork critics can you name from the top of your head? It’s rare that such an influential site should fail to produce a single noteworthy critic. Pitchfork appears to be the rare example of a music publication that believes in a party line. They might have been written by two different people, but as they both appear on Pitchfork, they’re both to be taken as the voice of Pitchfork.

I mean, read this review of a Beastie Boys album. It served as the writer’s resignation letter: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/608-to-the-5-boroughs/


woah, never read that before. it’s great.


Pitchfork 1997-2004 is a very different beast to Pitchfork since 2004, may as well be a different site. There’d never be anything like that Travistan or Boy With the Arab Strap review these days


Chris Ott has some good things on p4k

P4k ended up having to remove all his writing because he threatened to sue bc he wasn’t getting paid


Remember Buddyhead?


They’ve been all over trent reznor’s nuts for the last 5 years


Listened to this all the way through for the first time today. Total coincidence, had no idea a remaster was on the cards.


I believe it’s true that P4K’s senior ‘team’ decides the score for major releases and then assigns a writer who concurs (tho I doubt they did 18yrs back)


I remember nme giving The Downward Spiral 4/10. Total wankers. People really gave anything industrial shit reviews around those time. Curve got a lot of stick for heading in an industrial direction around Cuckoo. Revolting Cocks were given a rough ride (though, to be fair, they were quite poor).


Fantastic. Absolutely nails how it feels to be in love with music.


See also:


I knew Brent DiCrescenzo back in the day and would read his reviews regardless of who he was reviewing, more for entertainment values than content.

I can name Ian Cohen, Laura Snapes off the top of my head and recognise their styles, Laura particularly.


That review made me look out for Jmoke Jhops when I first visited NY. Didn’t see any though.


Sad to think that Travistan review pretty much destroyed the first solo album from the frontman of my favourite band at the time. It wasn’t a great album, but Represent alone made it deserve a higher score than that. So many reviews that came out of it shortly after that Pitchfork one which criticised exactly the same things, no-one daring to say it was any good. Can’t remember if it’s my memory distortion but I think it came out before the album was released, when they weren’t as strict about when exactly reviews went up on the site, I can’t remember though.

Conversely, Travis nor the reformed D-Plan didn’t release anything worthy of their back catalogue post-Change, so maybe the review was just a convenient scapegoat after all. It seemed to be when they moved away from all of their hardcore influences that only the Ben Folds-esque quirky shit was what remained. All Y’all was the best example of it working in my opinion, but even that was patchy.

I’d have written them off entirely if it weren’t for me liking this track so much https://theburlies.bandcamp.com/track/the-ocean.

Anyway, I’ve gone off on a tangent.


The Travistan review feels like the last gasp of the old version of Pitchfork.


Though the second review there acknowledges the original one. Not sure that occurs in the new review for The Fragile.