Most songs and artists have a "formula". It's what makes songs catchy.  The Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails formula is pretty easy to boil down.

While this makes fun of Trent and Nine Inch Nails, it was pretty much the formula for most New Wave in the 80's as well.  It was just adding and subtracting instruments to a basic mix. I think this video that Heathen found pretty much shows you how it works.  With all that said, this is just some good natured fun, we would never, ever slam the guy that wrote "Hurt".  That song along gives this guy a "get our of jail free card".