Cover Photo: Subliminal Messages: On Nine Inch Nails’ “Broken” by Aaron Burch

Subliminal Messages: On Nine Inch Nails’ “Broken”

I turned my stereo all the way down to barely audible volumes, convinced Trent Reznor’s singing was a subliminal message.

alone

BrokenPretty Hate Machine anticipation

nnine inch nails brokennTninin

Pretty Hate Machinennot

band

BrokenPretty Hate MachineThe Downward SpiralPretty Hate MachineBrokenPHM

Ten

I

McSweeney’sThe Maxx Broken

Was my stereo a mono device? What did that mean, if it was?

Was Maise Reznor’s dog? If I listened close enough, would I be able to hear a dog’s contribution to the album?

rocked

The Downward Spiral

I didn’t know at the time, but . . . attn: Steve Gottlieb?

What??

ItI supposed

Satan??heardsubliminal

not

Broken

duhPinkerton

overly

weren’t for me

Broken

twoRush Street

Broken

also

Broken

Who Nevermind

Check Your HeadBlood Sugar Sex Magik

Broken

Broken

The Downward SpiralBroken The Downward Spiral

Aaron Burch is the author of the memoir/literary analysis Stephen King's The Body, the short story collection Backswing, and the novella How to Predict the Weather. He is also the Founding Editor of HOBART. He lives in Ann Arbor, where he teaches at University of Michigan.