Nirvana – In Utero – Review

*This Is A Repost*

Now at this point it could have been extremely easy to do Nirvana’s previous album and world famous ‘Nevermind’ however in my opinion I genuinely believe ‘In Utero’ to be the better album and therefore my nod as a classic album (although this is in no way discrediting the brilliant and culturally important ‘Nevermind’ album). This album sees Nirvana return to their rawer roots after the more commercially appealing ‘Nevermind’ album, almost as if once Cobain had achieved the success with ‘Nevermind’ he would never admit to wanting he turned the band back into Nirvana of old again.

Track By Track Guide: –

1. Serve The Servants:

This is a pretty decent song to open with although it’s one of the weaker songs on the overall album. This song however brilliantly captures the raw punk rock sound that Kurt was looking for on this album; it starts off rough which suits Kurt’s harsher vocals in the verses before a simpler but effective chorus.

2. Scentless Apprentice:

Quite probably the heaviest song on the album built almost entirely around the might that is Dave Grohl’s spectacular drumming. This song is the epitome of a grunge song and feeds much more into Nirvana’s alternative side rather than the poppier side. Kurt’s vocal shrieks and overall gravely and raw vocals complete what is a strong song.

3. Heart Shaped Box:

Arguably the most famous and successful song to be spawned from this album this song is a truly great Nirvana song. The lyrics are Kurt at his obscure best, and the riff and chord progressions perfectly capture the mood the song is trying to convey and the chorus is incredibly catchy and Nirvana at their tuneful best.

4. Rape Me:

Another great track here and another highlight on the album, this song is powerful yet still maintains that level of melody that Kurt always seemed to achieve. My only criticism of this song is it’s a little too close to that song ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, that minor criticism apart a really good song.

5. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle:

This song is full of Kurt’s depressed lyrics ‘I miss the comfort in being sad’ for example (even though this isn’t the overall point of the song, it is instead about the actress Frances Farmer who was lobotomised after being declared mentally unfit, as was acceptable at the time). This is one of my favourite songs on this album, it has a brilliant intro that starts slowly before breaking heavy and chugging its way through the verses into a loud powerful chorus. Brilliant song even if it is a bit of a mouthful of words to say.

6. Dumb:

The first song on the album not to be shrouded in thick distorted guitars and this allows Kurt’s vocals and lyrics to come to the forefront, a calm rest from what has preceded it this song includes a great cello counter melody and is without doubt a reference to drugs and the carefree happiness i.e. ignorance is bliss, strong song.

7. Very Ape:

This is a decent song that power chords it’s way throughout, not the most imaginative but catchy none the less. There is not a lot I can say about this song as it’s little under 2 minutes in length although it is credited in the linear notes as a sample for the intro of ‘Voodoo People’ on The Prodigy’s ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’ album.

8. Milk It:

Strong contender for heaviest song on the album although it’s not relentless in it’s assault, the beginning and verses almost seem to be a random bunch of notes thrown together but it works, the chorus however is a pure head ache waiting to happen (and I love it!) it’s hard, it’s heavy and it’s loud!

9. Pennyroyal Tea:

This is not just my favourite song on this album it is quite possibly my favourite Nirvana song full stop it is truly brilliant Nirvana at their stunning best. The drums by Grohl are brilliant, the guitars, bass and vocals all compliment each other brilliantly and capture beautifully the raw punk rock sound this album was aiming at. This song is basically about making tough decisions and living with them and is at its roots a 2 chord verse into a 3 chord chorus this is simple, effective and brilliant.

10. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter:

This song starts with loads and I mean LOADS of feedback with an effect on top, some more great drumming from the multi talented Mr Grohl here and without doubt Krist Novoselic’s best bass line on the album, loads more feedback in the verses until like ‘Milk It’ you get an explosion of a powerful loud but extremely catchy chorus.

11. Tourettes:

This in my opinion is the worst song on the album and to be honest pretty much pointless as its little over a minute and a half of Kurt screaming nonsensically.

12. All Apologies:

This song is a brilliant way to close the album and isn’t just the last song on the album it’s effectively the last nirvana song full stop (before the random posthumous releases). Starts with a really nice intro some good vocals and once again a really good cello accompaniment, I find this song leaves mixed feelings though although much more upbeat than a lot of Nirvana you can’t help but feel slightly saddened by what followed not long after, a beautiful and touching song.

Impression: –

The production on this album loves the fact that the instruments aren’t so much being played as being kicked around while having their necks wrung, whilst still managing to capture the more charming, human aspect to Cobain’s vocals and the painful persistence and desperation of his trademark screams. When you listen to this album it leaves you wondering what would have come after had Kurt still been around to continue writing, as this is a much more matured sounding Nirvana that had progressed past the more teenage angstiness of the ‘Nevermind’ album. Overall this album is powerful, personal, psychological, paranoid, frenzied, exhausting, beautifully frank, poetic, infectious, saddening and overall great.



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