Tag Archives: nirvana

Acclaimed Albums – In Utero by Nirvana

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 219/250Title: In Utero
Artist: Nirvana
Year: 1993
Position: #102

It’s been a bit of a fortnight. A bunch of ten hour days and some weekend work, but at least it’s over for now. It’s one of those times of year where I really end up throwing myself into a lot of music in order to keep me motivated. Nirvana’s In Utero really came at the perfect time for me by providing this busy period with some much needed attitude.

It has been years since I crossed Nevermind off the albums list – so during my listens of In Utero I thought it would be a good idea to refresh my memory. After all, it had also been years since I listened to that album in any capacity, mainly because I forget that I actually enjoy this type of music until it comes up in these lists. I don’t think I’ll have such a memory lapse with In Utero.

Compared to Nevermind, my enjoyment of In Utero was immediate. Going into it, the only song I knew was ‘Rape Me’ because of a cover by Tanya Tagaq and a strange barbershop version on South Park. I’d heard of ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ and ‘France’s Farmer Will Have Her Revenge’, but never actually heard the songs. Guess that shows how weirdly sheltered my music listening is.

I guess what impressed me more about his album is that it wasn’t just a continuation of what they did on Nevermind. They had made what was being lauded as one of the greatest albums of all time and instead of trying to replicate it, they decided to pay homage to their rawer sound and find a way to further refine songs into the mainstream. What this ended up doing was making In Utero a varied treatment on what grunge could accomplish. Sure I love the big name songs on this album, but wow this is one of those tat demands being listened to all the way through without stopping.

Given how many years I was constrained by making my way through the massive numbers of albums from the 1970s, it is such a novelty to have pretty much any album open to me to listen to. Given that Neil Young is the only duplicated artist I have left, I think that’s a good enough steer for my next album

Music Monday: Nevermind by Nirvana

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 58/250Title: Nevermind
Artist: Nirvana
Year: 1991
Position: #3

I know that I am not alone in thinking this, but I have always thought that Kurt Cobain sounds like Beck if he gone grunge. Seriously, if you listen to ‘Girl’ or ‘Chemtrails’ by Beck the similarity is absolutely palpable.

Nevermind was one of those acclaimed albums I did not have much of an interest listening to growing up. Mainly because this style of music was so far out of my wheelhouse. However, you can not argue with the only album in the Top 10 that is newer than 1979. The only other recent album that comes close is OK Computer which is placed (at the time of writing) at #12.

It was to my utmost surprise that I actually ended up enjoying Nevermind on the very first listen. The fact that I already knew three of the songs (‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, ‘Lithium’ and ‘Come As You Are’) pretty well through sheer cultural osmosis seems to have helped things. Then again, when acts like Paul McCartney, Missy Elliott and Beck are unknown to a disturbingly high percentage of my generation you can not take that osmosis for granted.

Is Nevermind an album that will end up in my general rotation? Probably not. As much as I can recognise that this is actually really good music, not just the singles but also tracks like ‘On A Plain’ and ‘Polly’, the rockiest I usually end going for is something along the lines of ‘Milkman’ by EMA.

I may prove myself wrong though. This album was an earworm all day at work and I found it hard not think about it or what I would write about it. Who knows, by the time I get to looking at In Utero I might have surprised myself and given this a bunch more spins.