Friday, March 21, 2014

One Year, 100 Albums: #29 Nirvana "In Utero"

Teenage angst has paid off well, now I'm bored and old

Nirvana In Utero, 1993

I got In Utero on cassette tape in what was probably something like 1996, because I also got the first Presidents of the United States of America tape in that same shopping trip. I was under the impression that, because they cost less, it was better to get tapes. In my defense, I only had a Walkman for a while there and so it made sense on that level, too.

The PUSA album was slightly shocking because the first song, "Kitty", had the repeated use of the word "fuck" on it.

And then there was In Utero. It was the first and only album that I've ever decided that I wanted to like and knew that I would eventually like it, but that it was not for me at that time. I was not ready. I don't remember specifically what it was that spooked me so. It may have simply been the title of the 4th song ("Rape Me", of course.) but I feel like it was the lyrics contained therein. Actually, it might have been the noise and feedback on the first two songs ("Serve the Servants" and "Scentless Apprentice"), which are NOW two of my favorite songs on the album, that did it. I had only heard "Heart-Shaped Box" and MAYBE "Dumb" or "All Apologies" and was probably not educated in music enough to discern the merit of the more cacophonous sides of the band.

Gradually, I made my way through yelly punk and Staind albums and when I found my way back to this album some years later, it sounded like the angels singing from on high. Seriously, this is the kind of album I want to become the kind of music my kids think of as "classic rock".

So, why not Nevermind? The album certainly has its merits, but this album has drive. And anger. And sadness. And confusion. Which its predecessor also had, but, somehow on In Utero, all of the feelings are distilled to everclear (lower-case e) levels of potency.

You should hear this album. It's the delivery on the promise that Nirvana made with Nevermind. It's harder and louder and more intense and only gets better with age.

Nirvana - Scentless Apprentice
Nirvana - All Apologies

You can buy In Utero at Amazon, Amazon MP3, and iTunes

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