Bleach Review

artist: nirvana date: 11/02/2009 category: compact discs
nirvana: Bleach
Released: 1989
Genre: Rock
Tones: Angst-Ridden, Cathartic, Rebellious, Theatrical, Raucous, Tense/Anxious, Aggressive, Intense
Styles: Alternative Pop/Rock, Grunge
Number Of Tracks: 13
 Sound: 9.3
 Lyrics: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Overall rating:
 8.7 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.2 
 Users rating:
 8.2 
 Votes:
 97 
reviews (14) 28 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.7
Bleach Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 28, 2005
3 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is obviously Nirvana's grunge album. Unlike the Nirvana albums after it, this doesn't have as many different emotions or sounds but can still have you head bang through most of the album. Still the emotions can range from demented (Floyd The Barber), love strucken (About A Girl), and energetic (Negative Creep) are some examples. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are great maybe not as compelling or thought out as something you may heard on Nevermind or In Utero but it is still lyrical. Some high points to those is parody-like song Floyd The Barber, the love song About A Girl, the child abuse song Paper Cuts, and the ending Downer. Kurt's voice is very well for the little studio effects and editing sub pop had which has prononced Bleach as one of the most well done albums. // 8

Overall Impression: This is probably some of the purest (besides old bootlegs, disc 1 on the box set, and such) that Nirvana can offer. Here are the song reviews: 01. Blew - this is one of the weak songs of Bleach mainly because where it is in the album. It's better as a closer like in The Muddy Banks but it is still a good song 2.5/5. 02. Floyd The Barber - here we go this is a great song on Bleach I think this truely defines the album with a grunge beat and demented and dark lyrics. It seems to be a parody of the Andy Griffith show 5/5. 03. About A Girl - another great song and the only one from Bleach featured on the greatest hits album. I have heard this song was written after Kurt spent hours listening to The Beatles. A great melodic song with a great bluesy solo and pretty much the only non-distorted song on the album. A Great song to sing to your girlfriend 5/5. 04. School - another great grunge song with the simplest lyrics in the world which I will show you now: won't you believe it just my luck no recess your'e in high school again. Just because it lacks a story line or alot of lyrics doesn't make it not great 4.5/5. 05. Love Buzz - a cover song from Shocking Blue, it's not my personal favorite but sounds great either way 3.5/5. 06. Paper Cuts - another good song, although it's a little long. Everytime I hear this song it reminds me of child abuse which is what it is mainly about. I think it may be related to Help Me I'm Hungry and Something In The Way. I love the chorus which is simply him screaming Nirvana 4.5/5. 07. Negative Creep - this song is kind of like Breed I guess (just for repetition) but once again another great song. It kind of reminds me of a good teen gone bad (Daddy's little girl ain't a girl no more) 5/5. 08. Scoff - not a strong song and not a weak song, I guess this is a song about being addicted or getting rehab and withdrawls from it (Give me back my alcohol) still pretty good 3.5/5. 09. Swap Meet - if you get this song its actually really good. I think it's about a drunk abusing his wife whose always there for him (She loves him more than he will ever know he loves her more then he will ever show) 4/5. 10. Mr. Moustache - here you can see another grunge song where a macho man becomes muslim (maybe). Written because Kurt was tired of being an outcast to the macho town of Aberdeen 4/5. 11. Sifting - this is probably the weakest song on Bleach, it's too slow and long. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense either 2/5. 12. Big Cheese - this is a really good song. I have heard it was written about the head of sub pop but not entirely sure. I have also heard this is a radio friendly song yet haven't had the pleasure of hearing it. Maybe it was only on college radios in 1989. Still a strong song 4.5/5. 13. Downer - quite possibly the most lyrically strong song on the whole album, it never appeared on the vinyl or tape version of Bleach and was originally on Incesitcide. This is also the fastest and shortest song on Bleach 3.5/5. All in all Bleach is a must have for every Nirvana fan theres not a whole a lot of bad things to say about it and yes I would buy this album again if I lost or got it stolen. // 8

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overall: 8
Bleach Reviewed by: Jake Arewood, on november 02, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: All I can say is wow. This album is the best, easily, of all the Nirvana's albums. Not to say the other songs/albums are bad or over-hyped, but this album seems to have given us the raw, powered soul and sound of a long dead band. Die hard fans are gonna flood here, saying how great this album is and claim to be "true fans" but really opinion is opinion. Some people think that they sold out with Nevermind, but no matter, because this album gives a chill down your spine once you hear that guitar beefing up and then the drums pound away as Kurt growls and screams. This is supposed to be one of the founding stones of grunge, along with Pearl Jam's Ten and Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger. Strange this is, Bleach sounds nothing like any of these, or anything that was out at the time. Jack Endino really produces this band well, letting their real, untamed selves blast through in this album. Easily the best songs are Blew, for the sheer power it brings, Paper Cuts, for the splitting guitar part, Scoff, offering a nice mid piece, and Downer, a nearly perfect closer. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are strange and not nearly thought out. Some tell a story, some tell Kurt's feelings, some just to take space it seems. About a Girl, Floyd the Barber and School seem to me the best lyrics of the album. The others I could take or leave on the words, but how they meld with the music is essential, as Kurt proves by heavily relying on his soft vocals transitioning into a powerful yelling chorus. About a Girl, a song about Kurt's at-the-time-girlfriend, was written because of her pestering. Floyd the Barber, a song hybrid of Andy Griffith and Sweeny Todd, gives the listener an eerie sense of a near perfect town. School, a song about school, is very bare but little is more here and it does seem confusing but sort of gives a nostalgia feeling from the words. // 7

Overall Impression: Bleach, best viewed as a stand alone album and not compared to Nevermind or In Utero, lets you hear the band's pure, raw, untainted selves before the fame got to them and warped their minds. Kurt improves his songwriting and singing in later albums, but if you don't understand how a band sounds in the beginning, you can't hear the improvements. Also, if you want to imitate this sort of sound, you'll need to hear the origin. The best thing here is obviously the band as a whole sound, the worst, possibly Kurt Cobain's lack of decent lyric, but talk is cheap, right? Although it took me a while to find, I would totally buy this 50 times over if I lost it. // 8

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overall: 8.7
Bleach Reviewed by: yousuck, on october 27, 2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound quality is pretty crude, but hey, it's their first album. And it's with under subpop so you know it'll be anything but maistream. Anyways it still would sound cool to any hardcore nirvana fan, mostly if you like heavyer and more grungy sound. The low quality of the album sort of defines Nirvana and the philosofies of Kurt Cobain (basically he wasn't a perfectionist and kinda liked to focus on more important things) plus the way the drums sound on the album set it appart from any other you'll buy. // 8

Lyrics: I personally think the lyrics are just as stong and important if not more so than of the other Nirvana cd's. It's definitivaley different from the others in that it doesn't hit home with teenager as much as the album is about Kurt/life experiences. For example, "Mr. moustach" witch talks about his dislike for the macho stereotype. And "About a girl" witch focuses on his relationsip. Oh yeah and he also focuses on world/political issues.That would be his punk rock side comming out. // 8

Overall Impression: For the most part I really like the album. It's my fav out of all the Nirvana recordings. That would be my reason for taking the time to post up a review. I want to encourage you people to buy it. But if you are just getting into the band then i suggest something like Nevermind of Unplugged first, but if you like punk and metal and already are into Nirvana but their just not one of your favorite bands i suggest it. Listening to it might change your oppinion for the better(that's what happened in my case). Out of all 13 tracks(if you include"big cheese") every one is good with the exeption of "love buzz" witch Nirvana didnt even write. My personnal favorite songs are Negative creep, Paper cuts, and Floy the barber. // 10

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overall: 10
Bleach Reviewed by: nirvanatabber, on february 07, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Bleach was Nirvana's first album. They only recorded it for 600 bucks so who cares if they weren't rock stars yet. This album hit me as light Metallica raped by AC/DC punched by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They had a few metal songs. There were also a lot of solos or playing by only one instrument lines. Not just the guitar but the bass had some intro solo lines. The songs were all really catchy. Putting hard rock and grunge is hard to do in style wihout going too much one way. But as a personal comment I would say it was the best Nirvana record ever released. // 10

Lyrics: My overall impression of the lyrics was confused love hate and rocksympathys. Kurt cobain was still a young horny adult at this point in his life. That was one of the things that made the songs so catchy. They all went with the music like ketchup and a burger. Kurt Cobain was by far one of the most influeintial and skilled singers ever to grace punkgrunge rock ever. Not only that he was also one of the greatest guitarist ever. He had an uncanny ability to sig along to the guitar even in odd songs like Come as you are. // 10

Overall Impression: Nothing ever compares to the greatest nirvana albums ever. The best and most impressive songs are Love buzz, Blew, forget it all of them. Puddle of mudd sounds like Nirvana especially She hates me. Other that no one compares to the sound. I will buy bleach over and over again if I had to. I totally reccomend you to go to your local record store and pick up this truly unforgettable album. You won't be dissapointed. I got to stop kissing ass. // 10

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overall: 10
Bleach Reviewed by: altronataku, on june 01, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Bleach was the 3rd album I bought of Nirvana. I was used to their more known signature Nirvana sound from Nirvana and Nevermind. So when I heard Bleach, I was almost doubting it was Nirvana. But it was. Bleach is probably the most seperated sound out of all the Nirvana albums. It sounds the rawest, and heaviest and has that great underground vibe to it. It has some unusual melodies in songs like papercuts. These sounds seem very off and takes a couple of times to get used to. But after that its just so genius. Kurt probably showed off some of his best guitar playing in Bleach with the fastness in Mr Moustache and genius solos on Blew and School. Also did a great job cover The Melvin's love buzz. // 10

Lyrics: Kurt never failed at making the most fantastic lyrics and that shows in every album including this one. Some of the best lyrics were on About A Girl. Which he used with a compilation of common sayings and was able to make it all come together so smoothly. Also did a great job telling some stories in Papercut, about parental abandonment, and Floyed The Barber, which was probably about planned team rape. But he did it so cleverly describing the settings and actions as if it was a good book. Every song had amazing lyrics that fitted together better more than some of the other albums. Every song had a spicific theme and it didnt go off course or hinted on other subjects but still attention grabbing. It fitted the music relly well and his singing is just like what he always sounded like. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, bleach is a great nirvana album. Even though it was their first, it doesnt come up short on anything special they showed on their other albums. If I lost or broke it, I immidiately go buy another copy cuz I listen to it everyday and dont get tired of it. what I like about this album besides the above is that its probably the most challenging nirvana album to play along with your guitar. chad channing also gave really refreshing drum beats. I definately recommend this album to all nirvana fans. But if you're new, as many said, go buy Nirvana and Nevermind first because this would be especially hard to get into if you havnt heard the more "convienient" Nirvana sounds. After that, then you would feel great listening to this album. But it's like a shoe, at first it's uncomfortable and stiff, but the more you use it, the better it will feel. // 10

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overall: 10
Bleach Reviewed by: rocknskate4ever, on june 06, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I got my first big taste of Nirvana when my friend brought over their greatest hits album. I liked it alot, but as I am not a big fan of greatest hits collections, I did not want to buy it. So I went out and bought Nevermind and Bleach. I listened to Nevermind first and loved it. Then I listened to Bleach and was amazed. I thought, "Is this the same band?" But as I continued to listen to it, I loved it. It is much grungier and heavier than any of their other albums. The deep, heavy sound is amazing and the lower quality of this album than their others only adds to it. This album has some of Kurt's best guitar work and Chad's drumming, while it's not quite Dave Grohl, is still great. // 10

Lyrics: This album contains some of Kurt's most amazing lyrics. The lyrics of About A Girl take simple sayings and turn them into a beautiful song. On songs such as School and Big Cheese, Kurt lashes out at the corporate mainstream. On such somber songs as Blew, Kurt's singing skills are evident. However, he sometimes does not sing, but rasps and screams in a rough voice as in Floyd the Barber and Negative Creep. // 10

Overall Impression: The sound is very different from that of their other albums. New Nirvana fans should buy either Nevermind or Unplugged first before listening to this album. Once you do listen to it, though, you will love it. There isn't a song on the album I don't like, but some of my favorites are Blew, About A Girl, School, Love Buzz, Downer, Big Cheese, and Negative Creep. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Bleach Reviewed by: SuperAnalytical, on november 28, 2005
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Nirvana's first release 'Bleach' was the most worthy of being the most raw album from Nirvana. Nirvana was the greatest band of the 90s, in my opinion, with the most dynamic sounds and emotions spread out upon some of the most iconic songs ever. The sound on this album, as stated earlier, is raw and edgy. However, this makes it unique of Nirvana's albums. From my understanding, the story of the title was Kurt Cobain's (lead vocalist/guitarist) heroin overdose one day in a bathroom of his house, where he was found holding a bottle of bleach, which he supposedly drank. Track 13, 'Big Cheese' was said to have been made after a dispute between Jonathan Poneman (a personel of Sup-Pop records) and Kurt. The music styles are punky and edgy; this was the most up-beat album from Nirvana. The tone is very angsty. This was also the only album released by Nirvana that included Chad Channing (drummer on this album only), Jason Everman (second guitarist on ths album only), and finally, Dale Crover (on tracks 2, 6, and 13). // 10

Lyrics: The lyrical Mastermind Kurt Cobain himself draws reflection over his years of musical angst and truth in this album. It displays his feelings about many things, including his feelings for the music industry. The lyrics and music go hand and hand, suiting eachother nicely. Kurt Cobain ultimately let all of his emotions out for this album, and in doing so, powered his skills. // 9

Overall Impression: The most impressive songs include 'Blew', 'School', 'Scoff' and 'Big Cheese'. The edginess and raw feeling of the entire album is entirely enjoyable. If it were stolen or lost, I would definately buy this again because of the rawness and edginess that creates an uproar in emotion and power. The original name for this album was going to be 'Sheep' with the endorsement: "Steal 'Sheep' at a store near you!" I believe the final name 'Bleach' suited it much better than this. // 9

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overall: 9
Bleach Reviewed by: b.a.x.t.e.r, on february 15, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Nirvana have their own unique grunge sound as everyone knows and I think they make this most clear in their debut album. Bleach, being the heaviest of albums, has the heavy riffs cranked out from Kurt's anger as a child, and puts all his mixed feelings of determination, annoyance, angst and hatred into the creation of this album. The third track on the album 'About A Girl' was said to be written about Cobain's girlfriend at the time, and was the first track to be put on Bleach. However, other articles state that Kurt was nervous about putting this song on the album, thinking that it might affect the genre of the album and making it more 'pop-like' as opposed to the 'heavy grunge-like' style Cobain wrote the other songs on. In addition, Bleach has no 'light songs' unlike Nevermind and In uTero which both contain acoustic songs: 'Polly' and 'Something In The Way' on Nevermind and 'Dumb' on In Utero. // 9

Lyrics: This album has the simplest of lyrics out of any album Nirvana made, but I feel that Kurt gets his feelings over to the listener well in a few words. For example the fourth track 'School' has the easiest of lyrics and is one of the most popular tracks on the album. I like the way Kurt puts his lyrics to the actual riffs on this album, as opposed to singing over fifth chords. For example, the guitar intro to 'Blew' after the bass intro is played with the lyrics sung with it. This is a rare, unusual technique and most people fail to realise how hard this is to write and sing. Certainly Kurt's voice is rough and has no real melody to it, but uses this talent to make Nirvana sound like Nirvana, and no other band has this skill; maybe this is one reason why no one has covered a Nirvana song and made it sound anything as good as the original. // 9

Overall Impression: Bleach in comparison to Nevermind and In Utero is definitely the most unpopular and unheard about, as most people think that Nevermind was Nirvana's debut album. Personally I feel that Bleach is their best album, making In Utero their worst (and In Utero is still an awesome album). The best song in my opinion is Swap Meet and its finest lyrics of 'keeps his cigarettes close to his heart'. It is hard for me to chose the worst song but if I had to it would be Downer as I really don't like the verse part, although the chorus is awesome. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Bleach Reviewed by: kurt_cobain9, on september 09, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album is deffinately Nirvana's pure Grunge energy. with demented songs such as "Floyd The Barber" and "Paper Cuts" to the random and off the wall songs like "Blew" and "School", the album has everything. Love songs, demented lyrics, heavy riffs, improvised solos, it just has it all. In my opinion, the album was set up really nicely, and this album features the best drumming I've heard out of Chad Channing compared to other stuff he's done on with the lights out and such. // 9

Lyrics: Well, if you know Nirvana, then you know what Cobain is all about. Heart felt, sarcastic, metaphoric. all of those could be used to describe his lyrics. some songs however were repeatitive such as "School" and "Blew", but the lyrics were still impressive. "School" it litterally just "Won't you believe it, it's just my luck (x4), no recess (x3)" and it's all repeated again. "Blew" is the same way. Using the verse and chorus and repeating it over again. // 10

Overall Impression: If I were to make a top three Nirvana albums chart. "Bleach" would have to come in at three. I enjoy this album, but "In Utero" just seemed like it was the most heart felt, "Nevermind" was an almost pefect mix, and "Bleach" just mezmerizes your mind. If your looking for their raw energy, either buy "Bleach" or "Muddy Banks", either one will show off exactly what you are looking for. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Bleach Reviewed by: mental_zer0, on september 28, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Bleach, Nirvana's first studio record, has a bit more of a heavy sound to it. The music is predominantly bass, with catchy riffs and possibly Kurt's most inventive guitar playing. The music seems to be a step above Nevermind, though at times the music sounds similar to the other songs on the album. Not frequently, but if you listen to it as often as I do, you will notice these kind of things. The music style has changed a lot, you will notice, after you listen to their later albums, then this one. "Floyd The Barber" has a very catchy sound to it and you may find it hard to get out of your head for some time. The music still matches everything else perfectly and it all melds together very well. The bass is still mediocre on some songs. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics were less focused on for this album, though they are meaningful. The lyrics, as with many first albums, tend to be more personal to the writer, in this case Cobain. They are deep, but sometimes hard for someone who didn't personally know the writer wouldn't quite understand. However, they are still extremely well-written and truly bring out this under-promoted album's feeling. // 10

Overall Impression: There isn't much to say about this album. It's a fantastic album because you can see Kurt developing his talents, and my overall impression is that, though this album was produced in a matter of days for about $600, a lot of thought was put into every aspect of the album, and that really struck a chord with me, no pun intended. Everything blends together so well and the overall sound is well made. This is a definite must buy for Nirvana enthusiasts. // 10

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overall: 10
Bleach Reviewed by: axeshredder99, on april 19, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Bleach was Nirvana's first album. They didn't have very many resources but they did have the attitude and talent to make this album work. It was probably the grungiest album they made, with heavily distorted riffs and relentless drumming paced by the steady bass lines. Although it wasn't as popular as some of their other albums, Bleach was very important in the progression of Nirvana. // 10

Lyrics: Kurdt Kobain wrote lyrics that expressed how he felt. A lot of the lyrics are somewhat abstract, based more on the mood and emotion he felt than on the actual event that may have triggered how he felt. Because of this people can relate to the lyrics in however way they feel, it's not so much about if they can relate to the specific experiences as it is that they can relate to the emotions he is trying to express. The lyrics complement the music perfectly, confusion and anger are the main feelings the lyrics express, and the music certainly gives it that sort of feel. // 10

Overall Impression: Bleach is much like many of the other grunge albums of that time. It was heavy, angry, and spirited. Kobain wrote some songs that were excellent, and other songs that weren't as great but his style developed a lot as a result of this album. In my opinion some of his best songs were written on this album, such as School, Love Buzz, About a Girl, Blew, and Negative Creep. Every song on the album is worth listening to though, and if I were ever to lose this album I would buy it again in a heartbeat. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Bleach Reviewed by: Stratogibson, on july 10, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Bleach is Nirvana's rawest, loudest, and heaviest album, in my opinion. Kurt Cobain deliverd electifying riffs along with screaming vocals. Krist Novoselic's bass and Chad Channing's drums gave a solid back beat to every song. When you listen to Bleach, you can hear Nirvana's Punk influences blended with some old classic rock. The recurring sound on this album is heavy guitar riffs, loud singing, flowing bass, and pounding drums. Any rock fan who has never listened to Nirvana's Bleach album will be impressed and suprised at what they hear. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics on Bleach are pretty creative but, I have heard that Kurt Cobain wrote some of the lyrics just minutes before cutting a track. That takes good talent or a lot of procrastinating to accomplish that. Kurt's main focus on his music was the sound and not the lyrics. The songs that had the best lyrics that fit the music were About a Girl, Negative Creep, Floyd the Barber, and School(even though School had a limited amount of lyrics it still had good delivery and had a good guitar sound.) Kurt's vocals on most of the songs on "Bleach" involved a lot of screaming and yelling but, he made it work. // 8

Overall Impression: Bleach has hardly no filler tracks on it, just good music. One of the best grunge albums you can purchase. Bleach, in my opinion, was the textbook album for grunge and made that "sound" unique. It is one of my favorite albums and I listen to the songs almost everyday. If I were to lose this album I would buy it back in heartbeat. // 9

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overall: 8
Bleach Reviewed by: shred24, on august 21, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 'Bleach' was recorded before 'Nevermind' and before anyone had even heard of Nirvana. (Apart from maybe a few friends). The sound of this album is certainly different to later works of the band. The sound is very punky and at times harsh. There are a lot of powerchords and a lot of guitar feedback. However, despite the simplicity of the 13 songs there are plenty of catchy melodys and riffs. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics are often very simple and short. The song 'School' for example only has three lines! (Though they are repeated several times). Generally the lyrics are nothing special and it is usually hard to know what Kurt is singing about (Although that was the case throughout all of Nirvanas releases). However, this section still scores an 8 because on the hole they fit the music and 'alternative' nature of the album. But more importantly I like the way they are delivered. Kurt employs a range of dynamics and emotion through his young yet rough voice. // 8

Overall Impression: This album is by no means a masterpiece and is not the best introduction to this legendary band. However, it is an enjoyable listen and has plenty of guitar (Most of which is quite easy to learn yourself). On my iPod I have the songs 'Blew', 'Floyd the Barber', 'School', 'Love Buzz', 'Negative Creep' and 'Big cheese'. Even though I would make sure my copy was never stolen, lost or even damaged I would buy a new one if anything did happen as it is one of my favourite albums. // 8

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+ In Utero 9.4 08/24/2012
+ Nevermind 9.2 07/04/2012
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+ Nirvana Live Vol II 9 12/07/2010
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