On Downward Spiral, Reznor opens up his palette, which for this artist is as brave and idealistic as anything he's ever permitted of himself. One minute into "March of the Pigs," the industrial raving strips down to a regular old piano tinkle; Reznor sings, "Now doesn't that make you feel better?" Well, yes, actually. Didn't think you had it in you, Trent. With interplays of hard and soft, electronic and acoustic, hyper-masculine and falsetto, ranting and crooning, the pacing and buried surprises on this album are close to perfect. Besides the lurching, Zeplike "Reptile," the peak moment is "Closer". An arch new-wavey vocal dallies over a riff like Bowie's "Fame." Reznor gets to the chorus-- "I want to fuck you like an animal/ Iwant to feel you from the inside"-- and the song finds a groove, powerful without fraying off into white noise. Central to the innovative soundscape, which includes King Crimson's Adrian Belew on "texture generating guitars," are NIN's multiple nods to classic rock. As Sonic Youth taught us long ago, an anti-rock sound embracing rock forms is as delicious as it gets.