Nine Inch Nails Meaning - Closer Lyrics

August 25, 2023

Closer is the second single from Nine Inch Nails’ second album, Downward Spiral. It was the first song that really caught on with mainstream radio and the music industry. It has since become one of the band’s most iconic songs with a catchy melody and controversial lyrics.

Trent Reznor’s cryptic lyrics and dark musical production are what makes the song so powerful. The track opens with a laconic loop of the reversed drum beat from Iggy Pop’s “Nightclubbing”, which gives the song a sheen of drag cabaret sleaze. It also uses the truncheon beating sample from THX1138, adding to the feeling of pain and degradation.

When the chorus begins, the words sound sexually aggressive and blunt. This led to a misinterpretation of the song as a lust anthem, which made it an immediate success. It became NIN’s most successful single to date, and helped establish their reputation as an industrial rock icon.

The song is a warning about the dangers of obsessive relationships, particularly with someone who is toxic to you. The message is that your fixation on this person will eventually drive you crazy, and may even lead to self-mutilation or rape. It is an important song to listen to, and should not be ignored.

The video for the song is raw and disturbing, featuring bondage, nudity, and a monkey strapped to a crucifix. Although it was meant to be shocking, Mark Romanek filmed the video “for art’s sake.” The ASPCA was on hand to ensure that the animal wasn’t harmed.


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