Have you ever made a decision in your life at some point - on an album, or a book perhaps - and later, you come back to it and say "You know, NOW I get it!"?

Recently, I came across a copy of The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails. Now, when I was younger, I patently rejected this album. I'd heard "Hurt" on the radio, I'd seen "Closer" on MTV. All that really stuck with me is "Poor guy, maybe he should start taking vitamins and get out in the sun more, then he'll cheer up." I hated Trent's fans and I couldn't stand the implications that being a fan of NIN brought with it.

But here I was with a copy of this CD, and I thought, "Hmm. You know, I think I'll give this a shot."

It's really, really strange. I GET it now.

See, when you hear these tracks like Closer and Hurt on the radio, out of context, you miss SO much of what they're all about. It's like someone handing you two 3" x 3" swatches cut from Madonna on the Rocks and saying "Hey, check these out!" The image on what was handed to you is fine enough. Nice paint. Good color. But eh... not for me.

Because they're out of context.

It's true, some records have no context. Some records are just a collection of individual songs. But this one is NOT. It's definitely something greater than the sum of its parts.

I never, ever thought I'd say this... but I'm a massive Trent Reznor fan now.