Has it really been 21 years? Hard to believe that Trent was changing the world at the same time that songs like Tone Loc's "Wild Thing" were bouncing around people's heads. Let's get down to it (or rather down in it).
I first have to commend Trent for the packaging. Clear lettering slip cover, insert with lyrics, sharp album art and a nice info section round out a fantastic physical product. There's a nice touch just below the "Thank You" section, but I won't spoil it for you.
Onto the music. If you've ever seen or heard NIN live, you've probably thought: "Man, why can't [insert PHM song title] sound this good at home?" Fortunately, we have Halo 02R to change all of that. The album sounds like 1989 Trent hopped in a wormhole to the year 2010, re-recorded the album, heard a Justin Bieber song on the radio and ran straight back.
The first thing you notice is that it's louder. Anyone who's listened to PHM knows that it had a "quiet" sound. Then you hear Trent sing, and you realize that his vocals are finally as loud as the instruments/synths. Finally you start picking up the fun stuff, like the remastered thump of bass guitar in Sanctified's intro, or the background quips and sounds in Terrible Lie. The real winner on the album is Kinda I Want To. Listen to it with earbuds or good surround sound and you'll hear what I mean. I could go on and on about how "this part" from "that song" sounds, but you really have to hear it for yourself. All I can do is promise you that the re-master wasn't overdone. This is still 1989 Nine Inch Nails, but with higher quality for your listening pleasure.
Long story short, drive to your local cd retailer, throw down your $8 and buy this. Of course, if you're a NIN fan you already have. I drove through a semi-blizzard in Fargo, ND at 9am to get it. Now if you'll excuse me, I must return to my hot chocolate and my music.