Anyone that knows me knows that I consider Nirvana one of the most over rated bands to come out of the nineties. As far as I'm concernd they are nothing more than a Seattle Punk band, and compared to other bands that had been lumped in the same catagory they had half the talent. If Cobain hadn't killed himself (or been killed for the conspiracy nuts) they would have faded into obscurity by this point. Instead David Grohl went on to make much better and more talented music, and we get to spend the rest of eternity listening to the masses rave about Nevermind being one of the greatest albums of all time.
However, I will say that In Utero is not only the best album Nirvana released, but it blows Nevermind out of the water. Sure it contains more ridiculous screaming than Nevermind did, but this album seems more raw and honest to me. This is a group of guys with some time and albums under their belt that got together to make one last album, and make it worth something to themselves. I do highly believe that Cobain went into the studio knowing this was his last album, but I'll get to that later.
As far as I'm concerned you can skip the first couple of songs. Serve The Servants and Scentless Apprentice are a lot of annoying fuzz and noise, that I find headache inducing. Especially when listening with headphones. Although the second track is musically sound, and kind of enjoyable.
Heart-Shaped Box is the first song on the album I actually enjoy. It's pure, honest, and not a wall of over blown fuzz. Cobain isn't much of a vocalist, in fact his voice is a dime a dozen, and he really should have taken a few lessons, or at least learned that screaming is for amateur hour. On this song however, he gives a real and powerful performance. I also like the poetry to his words. "She eyes me like a pisces when I am weak / I've been locked inside your Heart Shaped box for weeks / I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap / I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black / Hey! / Wait! / I've got a new complaint / Forever in debt to your priceless advice / Hey! / Wait! / I've got a new complaint / Forever in debt to your priceless advice / Hey! / Wait! / I've got a new complaint / Forever in debt to your priceless advice / ...your advice / Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet / Cut myself on Angel Hair and babys breath / Broken hymen of your highness I'm left black / Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back / Hey! / Wait! / I've got a new complaint / Forever in debt to your priceless advice / Hey! / Wait! / I've got a new complaint / Forever in debt to your priceless advice / Hey! / Wait! / I've got a new complaint / Forever in debt to your priceless advice / ...Your advice / She has me like a pisces when I am weak / I've been locked inside your Heart-Shaped box for weeks / I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap / I wish I could Eat your cancer when you turn black / Hey! / Wait! / I've got a new complaint / Forever in debt to your priceless advice / Hey! / Wait! / I've got a new complaint / Forever in debt to your priceless advice / Hey! / Wait! / I've got a new complaint / Forever in debt to your priceless advice / Your advice / Your advice / Your advice".
When I was in grade ten drama I remember my teacher bitching about the song Rape Me. Of course he had never really listened to the words of the song, or read them, or did anything other than hear the words rape me and form an opinion based on just those. Which is a shame because he missed the true meaning of the song, which he might have been cool with.
Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle is okay, but musically pretty talentless. This is modern Punk at it's truest cliche. Dave Grohl's drumming is probably the best part of the song, and that's not very impressive either.
Dumb is a prime example of where Nirvana were heading if things hadn't gone the way that they had. You can hear them striving for that accoustic sound, and how the unplugged album was coming. I really think that Kurt was trying to be the next Bob Dylan, but never came close.
Very Ape is a pretty cool, and quick track. Which is all good with me.
Milk It is Nirvana being a Noise band of sorts. Why I can respect and even sort of enjoy the artistic vibe and flow to it, I think it's really more like amateur hour in the garage. I mean I seriously remember making bad music like this back in my band days when I played guitar, and I'm a pretty shitty guitarist.
I've never been able to make up my mind about whether or not I like Pennyroyal Tea. There is definately something inherantly cool about this track, except for Kurt's singing, but his lyrics are somewhat intoxicating. "I'm on my time with everyone / I have very bad posture / Sit and drink Pennyroyal Tea / Distill the life that's inside of me / Sit and drink Pennyroyal Tea / I'm anemic royalty / Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld / So I can sigh eternally / I'm so tired I can't sleep / I'm a liar and a thief / Sit and drink pennyroyal tea / I'm anemic royalty / I'm on warm milk and laxatives / Cherry-flavored antacids / Sit and drink Pennyroyal Tea / Distill the life that's inside of me / Sit and drink Pennyroyal Tea / I'm anemic royalty". The music is also pretty decent. It's generic by Nirvana standards, but still catchy and it has a decent hook.
Radio Friendly Unit Shifter is the longest song on the album. And if you take every complaint I've made about this album and roll them all up into one, almost five minute long, song you get a pretty accurate review of this one. The only difference is that on this song it really seems to work. I mean many people would say that the song is pretty crap, and I would agree, if it weren't for the limited amount of respect I have for Noise bands courtesy of my friend Matt.
Tourette's is shit. Just skip it.
At the begining of this review I stated that Kurt knew this was going to be his last album and All Apologies is the reason why I think this. This is by far the best song on the album, and he did what any musician worth their salt would do. He left the best for last. This is the most talent sounding song on the album, and it contains everything that made Nirvana cool to those that thought them cool, and everything that made them talented to those that thought they were talented. It's a shame MTV and Much Music over killed this song with the crap ass unplugged version. As for the lyrics, well I do truly believe they were Kurt's way of saying goodbye to his fans. "What else should I be? / All apologies. / What else could I say? / Everyone was gay. / What else could I write? / I don't have the right. / What else should I be? / All Apologies. / In the sun / In the sun I feel as one / In the sun / In the sun / Married! / Buried! / I wish I was like you / Easily amused / Find my nest of salt / Everything`s my fault / I'll take all the blame / I'll proceed from shame / Sunburn with freezer burn / Choking on the ashes of her enemy / In the sun / In the sun I feel as one / In the sun / In the sun / Married, Married, Married! / Buried! / Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, / All in all is all we are". That last line repeats twenty times.
If you have never owned a Nirvana album and find yourself wanting to buy one, I would suggest that you get this one. I would have suggested the self titled greatest hits package, but there's too many tracks from the unplugged album on it, including that version of All Apologies. If you look at the track listing for that album you'll also notice more songs originally come from In Utero than Nevermind, which I also feel help solidfy my point about this being the better album.
7/10 - content
6/10 - production
7/10 - personal bias