A pop industrial classic, Pretty Hate Machine
may be more responsible for the ensuing popularity of industrial acts than any other single album.
It is a masterpiece of driving beats, insidious melodies, and painfully angsty lyrics.
From a critical view point, the album is ostensibly about Reznor's relationship, or lack thereof, with his girlfriend. Songs like Down in it and Kinda I want to describe to longing and desperation of a man in love, while Sin is the anger and pain of a man in love.
The problem with this interpretation of the album is this: the most popular song on it, Head Like A Hole, doesn't fit. It is a cry of the anguish of an oppressed and beaten man fighting for freedom... While I can see the argument that this describes marriage/long term relationships perfectly, I don't believe it is an accurate portrayal of the song's intent.