- Nine Inch Nails: Trent Reznor (vocals, various instruments).
- Additional personnel: Martin Atkins, Chris Vrenna (drums), Maise (background vocals).
- Having caught the public's attention with his catchy, chart- topping PRETTY HATE MACHINE, Trent Reznor was free to experiment with music less accessible to the mainstream. While his more fickle fans were disappointed with BROKEN, the faithful heard in it Reznor's true genius. Dark and edgy, BROKEN cuts the silence like a dirty knife--no singalong anthems here. Only hard-hitting rhythms and no-holds-barred metal riffs flavor this sophomore effort.
- In BROKEN one can hear the artist maturing and simplifying his craft; Reznor succeeds here without relying on the trappings of pop formulas. The product of a burst of creative energy, BROKEN spawned a companion release of remixes, titled FIXED. From the tight, rapid-fire succession of chords that begins "Pinion" to the beautiful and dreamy jingling guitar of "Help Me I Am in Hell," BROKEN proved that Reznor was to remain a force in the alternative music scene.
Spin (12/92, p.94) - Highly Recommended - "...If The Who had decided to go industrial, BROKEN is probably what it would have sounded like, based on the slamming energy that Nine Inch Nails exudes..."
Q (12/92, p.130) - 3 Stars - Good - "...along with Ministry's recent PSALM 69, this can be considered some sort of landmark in the bleak wastes of industrial metal....the mastery of dynamics is never less than compelling. Cult status guaranteed..."
Alternative Press (11/92, p.51) - "...the deranged and screaming guitar chords are so clear, precise, and real, that one can actually feel each individual string vibrating....a strong and welcome follow-up to an exciting debut..."
Option (1-2/93, p.105) - "...displays the dynamics and fierce melodicism that made PRETTY HATE MACHINE so huge....[Reznor's] success has not made him a happy camper..."
Musician (11/92, p.101) - "...Louder and busier [than PRETTY HATE MACHINE], BROKEN recasts techno-gloom as a grand symphony....Big noise rains down in sheets, with grinding guitars and mangled synths boosted beyond distortion levels...a swell funhouse ride..."
Village Voice (3/2/93, p.5) - Ranked #3 on the EPs list of the Village Voice's 1992 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
NME (Magazine) (10/10/92, p.39) - 7 - Good - "...an incredibly aggressive but still quite electric musical approach....BROKEN shows all the signs that Trent Reznor has shaken off the shackles of influences and found his own suitably idiosyncratic niche..."