Kimberly Recommends: “Terrible Lie” by Nine Inch Nails

Sometimes it is hard for me to recommend songs for Memoir Mixtapes because I love so many songs! Like a lot of people, I love music and enjoy having music around me. While I drive, while I work, while I cook (I mean, try to cook) and while I write, I usually have music playing in the background.

Today I sat down and thought to myself, “What is the first song that comes to mind when you try to conjure up one that has seen you through several walks of life?”

And one popped into my head immediately — “Terrible Lie” by Nine Inch Nails.

I like a lot of NIN albums, but I’ve probably listened to Pretty Hate Machine a million and a half times. I sometimes skip the first song, “Head Like a Hole,” because I don’t care all that much for it (gasp, probably say many other NIN fans). Track 2 is Terrible Lie, and I fell in love with it the first time I heard it. It has weird industrial sounds in the beginning, plenty of Trent’s heartfelt yelling, and some cool synth work reminiscent of the 80’s. It’s dark, moody and oscillates between a simple drum beat behind lyrics in the verses and a smart combination synth sounds and vocals in the chorus. I just listened to it again to help me write this, and I felt the warm blanket of familiarity wrap around me as I relaxed into this song. A song I may have heard more times than any song in my life.

I first heard it in middle school, then confiscated my parent’s NIN CD so I could listen to it in my first car with a CD player. I listened to it throughout college and after college when I started the move toward adulthood with careers and stuff.

And I still listen to the CD today — and when the first measures of Terrible Lie come on (whether I skip Track 1 or not), I settle in for one of the best CD’s I’ve ever owned.

(Song recommendation by Kimberly Wolkens)

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