The Anti-Fuzz, on september 23, 2005 12 of 20 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is my favorite album of all time. The sound ranges from soft acoustic songs such as "Dumb," fast punk rock songs like "Tourett's," hard grunge songs like "Scentless Apprentice," and quite songs that get loud like "Milk It." // 10
Lyrics: Great meaningful lyrics. Kurt has a pretty good voice and can scream really loud. // 10
Overall Impression: 01. Serve The Servants - pretty good opening song about his dad. It has a cool verse riff but only two chord chorus. The chorus is a little mono tone. Still a great song 8/10.
02. Scentless Apprentice - I love this song but I didn't at first. Opens up with a drum beat then a cromatic scale riffs. A pretty Grungy song 8.5/10.
03. Heart Shaped Box - this is a great song in dropped D. Starts off with a very quiet A5 F5 D5 arpegiated chords with clean tone. Continues for the verse and then gets really hard for the chorus 9/10.
04. Rape Me - when you first hear it, it sound like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" because it uses the same chord numbers just different arrangment. A5 C5 Em G5 continues for the verse and chorus. The song has a great bridge 9/10.
05. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle - pretty good song. Start out quiet then gets loud. Could have a better solo but it's got a great verse 8/10.
06. Dumb - an acoustic song about drugs and being care-free. Short and sweet 8/10.
07. Very Ape - a decent song. This song is power chords with a second guitar playing the same thing in a higher pitch which really adds to the song 7.5/10.
08. Milk It - this is a tough one to describe. It starts out with notes that seem kinda random but song good. It's very quiet and then they stop for a beat and hit you with a hard Bb5 E5 G5 G#5 E5 chord progression 8.5/10.
09. Pennyroyal Tea - my second favorite song on the album. It starts out with an Am C chord progression with an acoustic guitar. Then gets hard. The song is about making tough decisions and living with them. I love it 10/10.
10. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter - opens with some weird feed back with some effects peddal and you maybe incline to skip this song right away. The songs about the media and Kurt uses effect to their fullest 8/10.
11. Tourett's - I love this song. I'd consider this song hard-core punk. Loud and fast. The closes Nirvana song I can think of to this is "Territorial Pissings." The lyrics are impossible to understand just listening to the song because Kurt screams them as loud as possible, hence the name "Tourette's" 9.5/10.
12. All Apologies - the best song ever written in my opinion. You'll just have to hear it to find out what it's like 10/10. // 10
unregistered, on december 08, 2004 5 of 8 people found this review helpful
Sound: I love this album. Its sound is a heavier and more creative one than that of Nevermind. However, it is not an accessable album for some one who has nevr heard Nirvana before. Off the wall, heavy, but refreshingly different. Sound quality is good. // 10
Lyrics: This is a classic grunge album. However, Kurt's talent for poetry is not shown in this album. The lyrics become dark, and can be very disturbing, but to the experianced listener can be genius. The lyrical phrasing is particulaly comendable in songs such as Heart-Shaped Box, a master peice of rock music. In certain songs the lyrics are weak, and a little too obscure, such as in Tourettes and are not the best that Nirvana has to offer. THe songs are not as strong lyricly as on Nevermind, but lets face it, that album sold more copies in a year than Bleach has in 10. Lyrics which need particular note are those in Heart-Shaped Box and All Apologies. These songs are some times let down by other songs on the album. // 8
Overall Impression: 01. Serve The Servants - a very nice verse, I like the guitar riff, but it is a weak opening to the album, a stronger intro is needed. The chorus sounds as if he has run out of ideas for the song, but still an average song. 6/10
02. Scentless Apprentice - very catchy drum rythmns at the start, but a melodicly weak song. The melody and lyrics are poor, and the song does not develop. However, it is still catchy. 6/10
03. Heart-Shaped Box - brilliant. A very famous Nirvana song, but still is never over played. The lyrics are obscure but poetic and its melodic interest is more advanced than the previous tracks. I love the way it is written, using the same chord progression. Usually this is not a good idea, but it is written so cleverly in this song. 9/10
04. Rape Me - another good song. Yes the lyrics are slightly disturbing, and the melody is weak, but altogether a powerfull song. I like Kurts very ditached, almost scratchy style of guitar playing in this song. 8/10
05. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle - I love the muted guitar riff in this song. The intro is brilliant. A weak chorus in comparison, but enhances the power of nirvanas music perfectly. 8/10
06. Dumb - a calm rest from the thrashy, busy listening of the album so far. Very sultry, and an exellent lyrical flow, aswell as a lovely cello countermelody. Very touching song, with slightly wierd lyrics. 9/10
07. Very Ape - an intro that reminds us strongly of the kinks, not the most imaginative song ever written, but catchy. 7/10
08. Milk It - my favourite song on the album. It's very heavy in the chorus, a real head ache of a song, and I love it. I feel the lyrics are a bit limited in poetic creativeness but still do the song justice. I just love the chorus, its amazing texture and power. 10/10
09. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter - good use of effects and strange feed back. The chorus, much like milk it is powerfull and catchy. I feel this sing is abit of a filler, but still effective. Its strange ending leads beautifully into the final song. 8/10
10. All Apologies - in effect Kurt's final song, a beautiful touching lyrical song. The opening riff is very hindu and indie in style, with yet another melodic cello acompaniment. Touching. When listening I have mixed feelings, and it is a very sad thought to think of what would soon happen to kurt a few months later. Touching and brilliantly written. 11/10
11. Gallons Of Rubbing Alchohol - much like at the end of never mind, a crazy one to finish with. A bit of a jam session, which is obviously drug induced, but still enjoyable to listen too. Only really for the enthusiastic grunge fan I think. 7/10
This is my favourite album, it portrays the ultimate power of Kurt's music, which has never yet been replicated sufficiently. It has a few weak songs, and is a little strange in places, but the album justifies its message well. If I lost it I would be mortified, and of course would have to buy it again. A stunning creation. // 10
Pennyroyal Tea, on june 20, 2005 4 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound is everything you'll expect from the real Nirvana, plenty of feedback, Cobain's grainy vocals, some nice bass work by Krist, and Dave hits drums to his hearts content. It definitely sounds as though the album was recorded in a couple of days, and simply handed to their producers, who most likely gave them a look of horror and amazement. Nirvana were never about clear sound anyway, so by their standards, this is good. // 8
Lyrics: Kurt Cobain happens to be one of my biggest lyric writing influences. So I kind of went over his words with a fine toothed comb here.
01. Serve The Servants - the songs supposed to refer to Kurt's father since his parents divorced when he was 9. Possibly one of the events in his life that affected him mostly, so this is quite an important song. Good phrase in "The legendary divorce is such a bore."
02. Scentless Apprentice - this one's kinda weird, gotta love the lyrics though, I've heard that it was supposedly based on the novel "Perfume" by Patrick Suskind, about a perfume maker who kills virgins for their scent.
03. Heart-Shaped Box - damn good song, I've heard that Kurt Cobain loved this song, and I give him plenty of credit for it. It's about relationships and co-dependancy and various other minor themes. Personally this is a song I've had a love/hate relationship with since many "fake" Nirvana fans like it too, so since its kinda mainstream I lost some of my respect for it. However I regained my admiration for it in the past few months.
"Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet
Cut myself on angel's hair and baby's breath
Broken hymen of your highness I'm left black
Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back"
04. Rape Me - to tell you all the truth this was the very first Nirvana track I listened to and liked, obviously the title had attracted my attention. Quite a bit of repetition here, its supposed to be about a man who rapes a girl, and is raped by his prison mates in jail.
"My favorite inside source
I'll kiss your open sores
Appreciate your concern
You'll always stink and burn"
05. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle - quite a mouthful of words here, a bit cumbersome to say if that happens to be your fave song. I have a feeling that Kurt might have purposefully given it such a long name. Its about an actress, Frances Farmer, who was very outspoken, and was finally lobotomised since she was diagnosed as mentally unfit. Lobotomy was considered as a viable option back then, so the song deals with a tragedy here. One of my all time fave Nirvana songs, with some kickass phrases such as:
"In her false withness, we hope you're still with us,
to see if they float or drown"
Referring to the witch hunts. possibly the tests done on Frances to try declare her insanity:
"She'll come back as fire, to burn all the liars,
and leave a blanket of ash on the ground "
"I miss the comfort in being sad"
Of course, a bunch of people would probably only listen to the last line and think that the song is about depression, and conclude that Kurt was suicidal as usual.
06. Dumb - Kurt making fun of ignorant people as always. Reference to drugs and blissful happines, ignorance is bliss (a phrase I don't agree with, but hey, everyone is entitled to their opinions).
07. Very Ape: One of the many attacks by Kurt on macho-ism. The phrase: "I'm too busy acting like I'm not naive" explains a lot.
08. Milk It - still one of Nirvana's strongest songs, and one of my faves, its about co-dependancy (like Heart-Shaped Box) but falls back on quite a few medical terms this time. It ends strongly using opposing terms such as "Obituary birthday." Possibly since the two words are opposites, but go together.
09. Pennyroyal Tea - a quick research on pennyroyal tea will show it to be an abortive substance. Besides being lightly about abortion and the guilt following it, this is mainly about having to take difficult decisions and living with them. A direct reference to abortion might be: "Distill the life that's inside of me."
10. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter - this is the jewel in the album. My favourite Nirvana song along with Paper Cuts, it makes fun of the mainstream sell outs and producers constantly pressuring "their" bands to make new stuff, however crappy, as long as money is made. Starts off with a bunch of feedback and isn't easy listening for the non-hardcore fan.
11. Tourette's - now this is an interesting disease. The sufferer goes through moments of screaming obscenities at anyone, or anything. Kurt basically just took the idea, and screams a bunch of mostly meaningless words into a mike. Came out rather well according to me. Has a "moderate rock" phrase possibly recorded off a radio at the start.
12. All Apologies - Kurt wrote this for Courtney and Francis, however the lyrics do not speak about them. This ones a bit different from the rest of the album since it contains no distortion or feedback, and is played in a calm and serene manner.
13. Gallons Of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through The Strip - the longest Nirvana song. Sounds as though it was improvised on stage, and that the band members were high on something while performing it. A lot of random words thrown together that at first glance mean nothing.
But then again, why should we expect songs to contain some hidden meaning, doesn't the song die with too much investigation? // 10
Overall Impression: I've had quite a love/hate affair with this album. When I first started listening to Nirvana off a copy of their Greatest Hits album, Heart-Shaped Box and Pennyroyal Tea where my fave songs, and since they were both on In Utero I had decided that that would be my fave album. As time went on, having listened to practically everything else they had to offer I noticed that I began to much prefer the earlier songs found in Bleach such as Paper Cuts and Floyd the Barber, or Radio Friendly Unit Shifter found of course on the album in question here. Songs like Heart-Shaped Box seemed a bit too mainstream for my liking, but recently they've gained ground again in my books. I can't say that In Utero is my favourite album, its pretty hard to choose between my fave two, Bleach and In Utero. What I'm certain is that Nevermind is my least favourite. Great album though, if I would lose it I'd definitely buy it again, if only for its kickass cover and I'd pity the poor person who stole it, since there'd be a good chance he'd never have listened to real Nirvana before and will probably get an earache listening to it. So I guess I'd just pray for him to some "god". // 10
Bambikill93, on july 18, 2005 3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: I personally think that Nirvana is one of the greatest bands that ever existed to this date. The sound is a heavy guitar with a poppy melody and very excellent bass lines and it mixes very well with the drums. // 10
Lyrics: I think that the lyrics are excellent because it was from Kurt Cobain and he writes some of the coolest lyrics and music. The music and the lyrics mix really well with the melody. // 10
Overall Impression: I think it is one of the most excellent album released in the the '90s and now. Heart-Shaped Box is a great song that shows Kurt Cobain's writing is very talented. If it was stolen I would defiently go out and buy it again but I ripped it on my computer but I would just buy it to have it. I love it because it has songs that you can listen to and never get tired of the sound but sometimes you want to change it. There is really no hate towards the album. // 10
cliff_em_all, on june 04, 2004 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: My impressions of the sound and music is that the riffs are very good and catchy yet very simple showing Kurt Cobains guitar talents. Nirvana and Kurt Cobain himself have a very individual type of music and they stand out alot. Most people recognise Nirvana very easily which i find very good. This is there album that followed-up the huge mainstream album "Nevermind" it wasnt near twice as succsesfull but I think it's more Grungey and better guitar riffs. Stand out tracks for this column: Serve The Servents, All Apologise. // 8
Lyrics: We all know Kurt cobain wasn't a lyrical geniouse but I feel that the lyrics on this were very good. I think and Heart shaped box has great lyrics with a meaning. On this record Kurt write more deeper meaning lyrics than that off Nevermind or any other album he produced before his death. Stand out tracks for this column: Heart Shaped Box,Rape Me. // 6
Overall Impression: This is my favourite Nirvana album and one of my favourite all time albums. It's more emotional and grungey and better riffs. If I lost this CD I would definatley replace it. I recommend this CD if you havent got it. // 10
unregistered, on july 11, 2005 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: I have listened to Nevermind before, this is different. But in a very good way. Apparently this album is a well known turning point for Nirvana as they chose to divide their fan-base between the real and posers. I can say I love Nevermind equally as much as In Utero. The music on this album is well thought out, and more of a hard-grunge style, I cant explain it any better you have to listen for youself. // 10
Lyrics: Lyrics, amazing. Kury Cobain has an eerie way of throwing together songs that seem to have to much meaning and passion, and usually are just a bunch of thoughts and sentences he kept with him. My favourite example of weird lyrics is the track Milk It, where he screams 'Test meat, dolls steak'. What does it mean everyone always asks, I don't know, I don't care, I love it. Siger skills - top notch. // 10
Overall Impression: Ok, I really have only gotten into the rock music scene since I started playing guitar. I was 5 years old when this album came out, and have just heard it this year for the very first time. What I'm saying is it doesnt matter when you listen to this album be it the day it came out, today or 15 years from now, it will always be good. Most Nirvana fans will praise this album for being a dividing line between fans, it's not radio friendly, but it's amazing. // 10
hellfire21, on july 21, 2007 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: As Kurt Cobain said himself, this is the way Nirvana was always supposed 2 sound like. He never liked the poppy sound they had on Nevermind (he doubled the guitars on that CD to make it sound heavier). The guitars on this CD are great. From the solo of "Heart-Shaped Box" to the opening chords of "Rape Me" (which sounds close to "Smells Like Teen Spirit"), Kurt's guitar screams with passion. Just listen 2 "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter", the feed back is amazing! Dave's drums pound with intense passion, this being the first CD were he really contributes by making up his own drum beats (he was not part of Nirvana when they released "Bleach", and Chad Channing wrote most of the drum beats for "Nevermind", and the same thing for "Insecticide", with Dale Crover appearing on some songs). But I think Nirvana got better when Dave joined. And Krist's bass serves each song with a beautiful rythm. Sound gets a perfect 10! // 10
Lyrics: Kurt Cobain's voice made Nirvana. If Nirvana got a new singer after Kurt died they wouldn't have had much success (that's why Krist never joined the Foo Fighters, they would've been Nirvana). As this CD was recorded the lyrics were thought to be to low, so they were boosted during the master recordings. That gave Kurt's voice an extra boost of power. Just listen to the screaming on "Tourette's" and the saddening sound on "Pennyroyal Tea" and you can hear Kurt's desperate voice at it's best. The lyrics, ranging from stories about his father to the Vanity Fair article about his wife, also get a 10. // 10
Overall Impression: This may be Cobain's favorite CD he ever made, but to me, "Nevermind" is better. The CD comes in a close second, though. It just makes me wonder what Nirvana could've made after this. It probably would've been great. The best songs on this album are "Heart-Shaped Box", "Rape Me", "Serve the Servants" and Pennyroyal Tea". I simply love everything about this cd, and gives me the chance to feel the energy Nirvana felt making this cd. If I lost this CD I would definetly go buy it again. This is a must for people who enjoyed "Nevermind", for people who like bands from the grunge movement, and people who know there are better song than "Smells Like Teen Spirit", because there are. // 10
UG Team, on march 06, 2012 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Okay, Nirvana is a legend, seminal band and bla-bla-bla. We all know that. One thing that's worth noting here is that famous Kurt's comment on his love to the Pixies. "Surfer Rosa" and "Bleach"? "Bossanova" and "Nevermind"? No way this is relevant. But this album's finally confirms Kurt's statements. Not a rip off, but sonically and somewhat lyrically it resembles Pixies' and Jesus Lizard's works. The recording process in early 1993 at Pachyderm Studios, Minnesota, was totally controlled by the band and their producer Steve Albini - no interference from the label. By that time, Nirvana was so huge, that, had they put out a Madonna covers album, it'd gone platinum in a matter of weeks anyways. But they decided to go the opposite way. No guitar/vocal overdubs, no polishing, live recording with the whole band - the best way to describe "In Utero" is "raw and angry", which may have been what Kurt actually felt at the time. But, what could work for an eager indie band, did not work the same way for Nirvana. Probably, Kurt was so overwhelmed with sudden fame and acclaim, so that he specifically wanted to alienate the fans in return, disconnect the band from anything they've done earlier (save for "Bleach"). The whole album to me is like a struggle, when a great songwriter tries to restrain himself from writing a great song. "Serve The Servants", "Pennyroyal Tea", "Rape Me", "Dumb" and even "Very Ape" - all these songs have great catchy melodies and thoughtful lyrics, but they were recorded and presented in such way, that it made them almost unplayable on radio and TV. On the other hand, cuts like "Scentless Apprentice", "Milk It", "Tourette's" are more music collages than songs to me. No wonder that, upon first hearing, bosses from Universal were terrified and immediately ordered to at least re-mix what's been recorded. So's been done to "Heart-Shaped Box" and "All Apologies" by Scott Litt. // 6
Lyrics: Lyrics on the album, just like the songs, fall into two categories: deep, thoughtful ones ("Heart-Shaped Box", "All Apologies", "Pennyroyal Tea") and extemely abstract and even absurd ("Milk It", "Scentless Apprentice", "Tourette's"). Most of them describe dealing with an unexpected stardom, alienation and reflect Kurt's personal feelings ("Dumb"). "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle" tells the actual story of the person mentioned in it, "Scentless Apprentice" is based on a novel "Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer" by Patrick Sskind. What "Milk It" is about - I'm sure even Kurt himself was only guessing. // 7
Overall Impression: "In Utero" was conceived as an anti-"Nevermind" record and in that way it succeeded. However, it feels to me that, had the things were a little different for the band, Nirvana would've hired Butch Vig again and we all could've got another remarkable record by a great band. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Personally, I believe that Kurt "with a little help from his friends" intentionally killed any potential for this LP in favor of his own opinion on how things should be, which also deserves respect, but nevertheless saddens me. Best songs are "Heart-Shaped Box", "Serve The Servants", "Dumb", "All Apologies". First thing I would do if they invented time machine is go back in 1993 and ask Kurt: "Please, it's your last record man, make it not for you, but for us, people who respect you as a person and truly and unconditionally love your music".
Yeah, and one more thing: it states on the sleeve "Recorded by Steve Albini" (not "Produced"). Does it mean anything at all now? // 6
TheSA, on august 24, 2012 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: What I've found is that people either love or hate Nirvana, and this album is for sure a big factor in your opinion. I also noticed a lot of songs use a quiet loud dynamic. If you've heard a song from "In Utero", it was probably "Heart Shaped Box", which uses the dynamic well that creates a simple melody that explodes into loud overdriven madness. Songs like "Milk It" might strike you as odd at first but after a few listens you will probably like it. "Tourettes" is purely screaming and power chords but I still like it. And last but not least, the 13th and final track of the album, "All Apologies" is a calm, beautiful song. Nirvana is hard to like at first for many. Me? After I heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for the first time, I was hooked. The raw sound of the album differs from the polished, more poppy sound of "Nevermind", and was intended to throw off the fans that only liked Nirvana because it was cool at the time. // 9
Lyrics: Some songs like "Milk It" and "Heart Shaped Box" have medical themes, like "I am my own pet virus", or "Throw me down your umbilical noose". Kurt was a really good songwriter who had deep meanings with his words. The opening line to "Serve The Servants" talks about the fame the band had received: "Teenage angst has paid of well, now I'm bored and old". "Scentless Apprentice" was written by Kurt and Dave, and is based off a novel called "Perfume" where a boy has a remarkable sense of smell but has no scent of his own. By the way, there is a good amount of screaming in the album. Especially in the song "Tourettes". The entire song is yelled. There's so much raw guitar and screaming but also catchy melodies as well. It's a great twist in my opinion. // 10
Overall Impression: I think that "In Utero" is a great album and is by no means worse than "Nevermind" or "Bleach". It's a great new sound that Kurt has said that he was looking to create. It's my favorite Nirvana album (And I'm a huge Nirvana fan) and sadly, the last. I love the emotion and raw sound, and really, I can't find a thing I hate about it. Do yourself a favor give it a try. // 10
intoallrock, on october 24, 2003 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Classic Nirvana. From All Apologies to tourette's,they cover every Nirvana area. It is definitely the Nirvana c.d. for the Nirvana fan. If you're going to go out and buy your first Nirvana c.d. don't buy this. You need some preparation for the true Nirvana. First buy Nevermind, then In Utero. Any Nirvana c.d. you buy after that is completely your choice. I love it, and if you're a Nirvana fan, you'll love it too. // 10
Lyrics: Very odd imagery. This guy was about the biggest stoner in the world, but I really like it, whether it's finding a deeper meaning in it, or just laughing at how ridiculous it is if you don't think about it. The only problem is the fact that on some of the tracks you can't understand a whole lot of it. tourette's is definitely no exception. Kurt was stoned out of his mind when he played this song, no doubt. // 6
Overall Impression: This is definitely Nirvana's greatest album to a Nirvana fan, hands down. If you're not a Nirvana fan, become one then buy this c.d. (after you buy Nevermind, as I said earlier). I couldn't give this c.d. up. If I lost it, I'd buy it again. // 10
unregistered, on october 29, 2003 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This has to be one of the best Nirvana records. It touches on every aspect of Nirvana you could imagine; from the very quite and superb track Dumb, to the loud sound of tourettes. If you like Nirvana, you will like every sound that comes from this album. Nirvana also use some strange effects on this album, 'Radio Friendly Unit Shifter' uses some of the screechiest, fuzziest sounds I've ever heard on a song, but still manages to keeps that catchy chorus that people familiar to Smells Like Teen Spirit/Lithium etc. will be familiar with. Although, I would recommend that if you are buying this as a first Nirvana record you may not be as happy with the sound because some of the sounds are so raw. For a first Nirvana CD, I would recommend buying Nevermind or the greatest hits album. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are extremely well written. In 'Serve The Servants', Kurt Cobain sings 'Teenage angst has paid off well/Now I'm bored and old' in a way you really can't imagine. In that lyric alone it sums up the rest-away from the teen angst lyrics to the more mature. Even though they are more 'mature' in certain aspects, you can still tell that in some places they may have just been written for a laugh, for example, the comical but superb line 'My heart is broke/ I have some glue/ help me inhale/ mend it with you' from 'Dumb'. Still though, the way in which Kurt Cobain sings the lyrics is enough to make the simplest of lyrics seem genius like. // 8
Overall Impression: I see this album as the best Nirvana album out. Still, I would recommend that people buying their first Nirvana record go for something like Nevermind, or the greatest hits album, just to get used to the sound Nirvana give. This is a must for all Nirvana fans.
The stand out songs on the album to me are 'Heart Shaped Box', 'Dumb', 'Rape Me', 'All Apologies' and 'Very Ape'. 'Tourettes' is one of the rawest sounding songs you are ever gonna hear, and, trust me, it takes a while to get into, as does 'Milk It', not so much for the music, but the screaming. You do get used to it though.
'In Utero' is an album that you listen to, and can feel all kind of emotions too. 'Dumb' is a track that makes you wanna sit down and wave your lighter in the air, and 'Tourettes' is gonna make you wanna mosh and jump like nothing ever before.
Nirvana fans: Buy This Album
People looking to buy their first Nirvana album: Stay clear for a while, and buy it after you've got used to songs such as 'Territorial Pissings' off 'Nevermind'.
Fans of raw sounds: This will be your favourite album. // 10
Backup Guitar, on january 15, 2004 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: After listening to the music, the sound is rather split. Some of the songs go for an enormous, stadium sized blow-the-house-down sound (Scentless Apprentice, Radio Friendly Unit Shifter), and some go for a solid distortion, classic marshall sound, where it sounds as though the band is playing next to you (Rape Me, Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle).
The songs that excape this are Dumb and All Apologies. They have an excellent cello line, while being very melodic. Dumb simply oozes with Kurt's teenage angst, while All Apologies has a much more light feel.
Whatever sound Kurt was aiming for in the song, he absolutely nailed it. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics, to be honest, are rather mixed up. Kurt even admitted to this, saying his lyrics were cut up, random lines from different poems he used. However, they have their own structure. In the "noise" songs, the lyrics are truly all over the place, but then those songs aren't meant to be incredibly meaningful.
The lyrics blend in perfectly to the music. This can be heard exceptionally well in "Dumb", where in a part, the cello line has a high, squealing line. Kurt's voice matches perfectly to it. I'm still wondering how he thought up such a brilliant musical idea.
I would have to say "Dumb" has the most meaningful lyrics. As you can expect, the lyrics are up for interpretation. This is probably a bonus, as it truly does stop a song from being labeled as one thing. I can't tell you what a song is, you have to listen to it for yourself and decide what it means to you. // 8
Overall Impression: At first, I wasn't particularly thrilled with the album. I had listened to it a few times, and the noise songs felt lacking. However, the key to this album is to not over-do it. Listen to it as you please, but don't listen to it to the point where you are getting bored of it.
For the 11 dollars this CD cost, I think I did something wrong. You could pick any five songs from this album, and it would still be worth paying 20 dollars for. I would buy another CD just to keep it in the wrapping so it won't get scratched up. I take good care of it.
If this is Kurt Cobain's last musical legacy to the world, I'm sure this is something he'd be proud of. // 10
SamuraiZach007, on february 24, 2004 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The general tone of this CD and the simple melodies in All Apologies, Dumb,and Heart Shaped Box all carry such a certain mood and the mood flows into the entire CD. In other songs like Tourettes and Scentless Apprentice, the melody is a little harder and brings out just the raw guitar stylings of Kurt Cobain, and still other songs blend the two together. To me this CD defines the Nirvana experience. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are enough to move anybody in somesongs. But yet in others its a comical but yet slightly disturbing mix of poetry and lyrics such as in Heart shaped Box, "I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black." or in Milk It, "her milk is my sh*t, my sh*t is her milk". // 8
Overall Impression: Every song on here can define someones mood and I think thats why most people, including myself, find this album to be Nirvana's greatest. // 10
unregistered, on july 16, 2004 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: I love this album because it hasn't got that real American mainstream feel that Nevermind has. It's a lot more grungey and, in my opinion, the riffs are better - simple but brilliant. I bought Nevermind first and when I bought 'In Utero' I was immediately struck by how different it sounds - I think it's better than Nevermind. The songs sound more complete. What I mean is you can get more from them well, I can anyway. Krist's thumping bass on this is brilliant and Dave Grohl has to be one of the best drummer's in the world. Kurt was a genius on guitar because he kept it simple yet brilliant. // 10
Lyrics: Lyricly, 'In Utero' is where Kurt really came into his own. Always one to write poweful and emotive lyrics, he really let fly writing this album. He showed a cynical intelligence. "Teenage angst has paid off well" goes the opening line of the album no doubt referring to the huge mainstream success of this album's predecessor 'Nevermind'. The lyrics in 'Dumb' imply that ignorance is indeed bliss "I think I'm dumb/Maybe just happy". We also get a look into how he was feeling when he wrote this album. "I am my own parasite/I don't need a host to live" from 'Milk It' and "Look on the bright side is suicide" from the same song inform us eerily of his state of mind one year before his suicide.
I got really upset when I heard these lyrics. It was like he was telling us what he was going to do. It's scary. Kurt was always in favour of women's rights and 'Very Ape' is about men trying to be macho. Kurt's voice on this album is, at times, just this gut-wrenching, heart-tearing scream and you can detect pain and suffering in it. For me the stand-out song on this album is 'Heart-Shaped Box' because well, just listen to it and you'll see. // 10
Overall Impression: I think that 'In Utero' is probably the best album Nirvana made because it just feels so complete - the lyrics and music are the best the band wrote together. Oh, check out Dave's drumming at the very start of 'Scentless Apprentice' - it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I love the emotive power of the songs on this album - they can make you feel happy and sad and angry and loads of other stuff all at once. Every time I listen to this (which is quite often) I get a mad adrenalin rush and an urge to pick up my guitar and play it immediately. If this was stolen or lost, I'd waste no time in buying it again - and if I found the thief I'd beat them up! // 10
feesk8ordie, on august 23, 2004 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound, like everything else on this album, is bleak and disturbing, especially the intros to Heart Shaped Box and Rape Me. However this simply makes the album more moving and emotional. There are also some efeective, cool solo's in songs like Heart Shaped Box, Serve The Servants, and Frances Farmer. The album has excellent sound sometimes furious, (tourettes) sometimes sweet and melodic (All Apologies) sometimes powerful (Scentless Apprentice). The album has a variety within it's sound making it interesting to listen to. // 10
Lyrics: Lyrically, I think this is Nirvana's greatest ever achievement, as it is Kurt's most autobiographical songs. This is easy to tell from just the opening song, Serve the Servants, (Kurt's most autobiographical song). Through lines like "That legendary divorce is such a bore" (about his parent's divorce), "teenage angst has paid off well" (the success of Nevermind), "I tried hard to have a father, but instead I had a dad", (Kurt's father) and even the line "if she floats then she is not, a witch what we had thought" which relates to the magazine article published in Vanity Fair magazine about Courtney Love. Every line of this song has some relation to his love.
Whereas Bleach was inspired by the presence of Tracy Marander, and Nevermind was inspired by Tobi Vail, In Utero was inspired by Courtney Love (songs such as Milk It and Heart Shaped Box) and also Kurt's drug addiction, (Dumb, Pennyroyal Tea). Other topics covered in this album are the media (Rape Me), the actress Frances Farmer, (that song is also to a certain degree about the media, "Come back as fire/and burn all the liars"). Overall this album has great lyrical value. Oh, and the person who said "we all know Kurt wasn't a great songwriter" is a moron. he was the greatest songwriter of the 90's and in my opinion ever. Just cos you don't understand the lyrics. Go listen to Busted or something. // 10
Overall Impression: What can I say? Possibly the best album ever made, and definitley one of my favourites. Depressing, dark, drug inspired, it makes you almost cry listening to it. But after all, the music was written by a suicidal drug addict, a year before his death. if you don't own it, go out and buy it right now, or if all the shop's are closed, order it off Amazon or eBay, now! I can't emphasis just how good this album is. // 10
RIPKurtCobain, on november 29, 2004 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Personally, I think that this is the best album Nirvana put out. The sound is very raw and angry and more like Bleach than Nevermind. It's very intense in some songs (eg. Scentless Apprentice) and then Kurt slows it down and croons out ballads like Dumb. Overall, the sound is just great. // 10
Lyrics: These lyrics can be described by only one word. Amazing. Kurt had such talent for writing lyrics. This is the only album that I know of that can make feel sad and depressed (in a good way sorta) and then really fuckin pissed off at the people in Kurts life in one album. Kurt also has an amazing voice. It's scratchy and throaty but at the same time melodious and nice. No one will ever be able to sing the way Kurt did. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall, I think this is the best album I own (and I own alot). Probably the best songs on this album would be "Serve The Servants", "Dumb", and "Pennyroyal Tea". If this album was stolen, I'd go out right away and buy 5 more. 2 to replace and insure the one that got stolen, one to beat the guy who stole it down with, one to give to him and then one more to give to his family that way they could be enlightened to the best album ever created. // 10
unregistered, on december 07, 2004 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound is absolutely stunning. They shed the gloss of Nevermind and traded it for a raw, uncompromising yet, always melodic sound. Distortion and feedback rage in almost every song except "All Apologies". Take the beginning to "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" for example. It starts out with about 20 seconds of pure feedback. It worked great to shed the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" audience. Just like the band had wanted. True fans couldn't be happier with In Utero's raw sound. // 10
Lyrics: Kurt has his best work lyrically on this album. Songs like "Pennyroyal Tea", "Rape Me", "Heart-Shaped Box" and most of all, "All Apologies" shows that he didn't mess around when he made his songs. Kurt's vocals are also superb throughout the album. All the lyrics were very stark, but they all had so much meaning. And "All Apologies" is in my opinion the greatest song ever written. // 10
Overall Impression: It is by far the best album Nirvana ever gave to the world. It's sad that all of the Nevermind fans scoffed at this album because it sounded so different. The whole album is flawless. There is not one song on it that I did not enjoy. I'm sure if you gave the album a chance you'd love it. // 10
aboutagirl, on october 08, 2005 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Definetly Nirvana's best sounding album, even with the contraversy surronding it, with the whole Steve Albini thing. To describe this album the best I can I would say its that legendary Cobain mournful rasp, combined with a dark feel, while being injected with clever melodies, all of which are being raped by incredible distortion. Then amongst all the chaos you have the hidden jems, those little soft, beautiful, amasing touches of sure bliss in misery. The sound truly covers one spectrum to another, while even managing to go right off the edge of said spectrum to find new areas of chaos, distortion, and under production. Quite frankly, it's incredible. // 10
Lyrics: This album was Kurt Cobain's best lyrical assualt on himself and the world. There are countless examples of sure brilliance on this cd. The 1st line of the 1st song, Serve the Servants, is perhaps the greatest opening line to a CD in history; given the context of the Nirvana explosion: "Teenage angst as paid off well/now I'm bored and old." Every song seems to have this great use self looked poetry, which seems to be abstract, but still centered around Cobain's world. This seems to be what separtes Kurt Cobain from other songwriters in that his words are often open to much interpretation and tend to seem a little out there. Furthermore, on this album Cobain is able to make use of some very creative imagery. Take the song Dumb, the 2nd verse goes: "my heart is broke can I have some glue, help me inhale and mend it with you, we'll float around and hang out on clouds, and then we'll come down and have a hangover." Its kind of like Kurt was painted a picture with his words. Its truly great. Lyrically definetly a 10. // 10
Overall Impression: This is the great Nirvana studio album! Forget about Nevermind, this was truly their best work in studio. I carefully say that it's their best studio work, mostly because their live stuff (Muddy Banks and especially Unplugged) are the best way to hear the band. Many people have complained about the amount of hard songs on the album, but they still fit in wonderfully and they're still done incredibly well. I challenge everyone to listen to every song carefully and examine it. This album was more about the art of the music, not the hooks, not the pop melodies, but the true art that lay behind the distortion and the mumbled, raspy, singing. Overall, this is on my top 10 list of best albums of all time. If I could give this album a higher mark I would. But I guess 10 will have to do. // 10
corrie, on november 02, 2005 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Personally I think Nirvana is the best band in the world. Kurt's voice is the most breathtaking voice you could ever hear and along with his words, you could compare nothing else to it. The guitar playing is amazing, with Dave Grohl in perfect beat playing on drum and complemented by Christ on bass. // 10
Lyrics: Kurt's voice is one of a kind and with the music its the sweetest thing your ears could ever be fed. The lyrics are special to me because I can understand them and I can understand him and they make so much sense. A lot of bands have pointless songs with no meanings, whereas all of Nirvana's songs have hidden meanings and truths. // 10
Overall Impression: No other band can compare to how Nirvana performed and the sound Nirvana create. My favourite songs on the album are Very Ape, Frances The Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle, Milk It and Dumb but of course all of their songs are perfect! I hate nothing on this album! Who could! // 10
catempire, on february 14, 2006 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Loud, abrasive and everything Nevermind was supposed to be. After attaining mainstream success with Nevermind (especially the main single, Smells Like Teen Spirit) Nirvana, it seems, needed to cast away their more pop-styled, over-produced sound in favour of a more raw grunge sounding album, full of the same great melodies and lyrics, but going back to being the band they knew themselves to be. Soundwise, very few songs sound as you would expect from Nirvana if you had only heard Nevermind, especially Scentless Apprentice, Milk It and Tourettes. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics this time around are more reflective, for example Serve The Servants is about Kurt's childhood. Dumb, All Apologies, Heartshaped Box and Pennyroyal Tea also stand out as being songs that reflect Kurt's state of mind. Tourettes was an obvious throwaway sort of song, so not really worth taking away as far as the lyrics go. Rape Me was a disappointment for me, particularly lyric wise, because it seems they tried much to hard to be controversial and to shock people. The strategy work obviously, but it seems too forced for my liking. Kurt wasn't the greatest singer technically, but his voice fits, and he communicated his ideas and emotions well, although his style is perhaps more of an aquired taste on this album as his voice sounds less tweaked in the studio and more like a live recording. // 8
Overall Impression: This album compares well to other Nirvana albums. It is much stronger lyrically that Incesticide and Bleach, and also a little better than Nevermind. To me the band has a much improved sound on this album, but I'm sure that it is not as widely appealing or easy on the ears as Nevermind. Best songs are Heart-Shaped Box, Milk It and All Apologies. // 10
PRWNDWIA, on february 23, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Nirvana the grunge kings. This album is a bit of mixture of heavy grunge and soft grunge, but you cant help thinking some of the heavy stuff really should have been left off. The sound on this album is amzing I really enjoy listening to this album time and time again, it's got everything really you would want from grunge from the soft grunge stuff (Heart-Shaped box, All Apoligies) to the normal grunge (Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge, Serve The Servants) to the hardcore stuff I suppose (Tourettes, Radio Friendly Unit Shifter) and everything in between. // 9
Lyrics: I actually quite like kurts singing on this album, it almost normal and nice to listen to and the melody and everything fits in very well, it just leaves you think that this band could have gone onto to even better and bigger things. Anyway the lyrics, there really is a song for all moods on this album, theres deinetly a lot of angst involvded anyway in the first two songs, in rape me its about the pressures of life in the music business and then theres stuff about his daughter aswell, all in all on the lyric writing and singing side a big improvement from previous records, infact it almost makes sense. // 10
Overall Impression: This is a great album that I would definetly recommend buying, not an essential album you must have unless of course yyour a Nirvana fan, in which case it is. I would definetly buy this album again because unlike previous Nirvana albums the non single songs are really addictive and jsut as good as the single songs, I would strongly recommend this album if your a fan of grunge and indeed rock music, not an essential but a really good listen! // 9
_futurerockstar, on may 09, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound on this album was the best unsuprisingly as it was worked on very hard by the producers. Unlike Nevermind and Bleach, the songs on the album were written at the time of when it was being produced, whereas the other two albums contained songs that had been written up to 2 years before the album was released. It is still Nirvana's sound, but is made a bit clearer as on thia album the songs were less 'grungy'. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album really are good. The first song has the lyrics that Kurt wrote about his childhood, which you can tell from the first two lines: 'Teenage angst has paid off well, now I'm bored and old.' His guitar playing on the album includes many of his trademarks; pick scraping, high pitched squealing noises and low pitched groans (all through feedback), and just a combination of tracks which each contain a hook riff. At the peak of his career, Kurt just sings through his normal voice that the world is/was used to, and thats really for me what makes this album a great one for Nirvana. // 9
Overall Impression: In comparison to their other two studio albums, I would rate this the same as nevermind, but not quite as entertaining as bleach. The best songs are Serve The Servants and Frances Farmer, all the other are really good to. Like Nirvana's other studio albums, there is not a track that I don't like. I love the cover and the inside booklet with pictures of Nirvana with the lyrics scribbled randomly on pages, but I don't like the back cover, it makes it confusing to read the track names! Also the bonus track is on the last track (All Apologies) which lasts 31:32, I think it would have been a better idea to put the bonus track as track 13! But that's Nirvana for you. If I lost this album, I would definitely buy a new one straight away. // 8
rockon1824, on may 31, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is probably Nirvana's best album because it helped show off their grungier, raw side. I enjoyed the sound because of the noisier, feedback driven guitar and pounding drum beats. There is still the catchy melodic songs like off of "Nevermind" but it also has a harder, edgy side. // 10
Lyrics: Well, I hate to be cliche, but it's Kurt Cobain, so the lyrics are good. There is a noticible difference between lyrics on this record and lyrics on their previous records for various reasons. For example, in "Scentless Apprentice," two new things happened: it is about a specific subject or theme (the book "Perfume") and it was written by all 3 members. There are more themed songs on this record unlike the last few with random lines made up a couple minutes before recording. The lyrics go unbelievably well with the music, as Kurt was a master at matching melody with rhythm. The vocals on this record were great, with the perfect pitch and tone for the music. He really was a talented singer. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall, I think this is Nirvana's record. There isn't a song I skip over, and I can't really say I have a favorite, because they're all really good. Everything seems to go together on this record, and there isn't much I don't like. I would definitely buy this record again if this one got lost/stolen. // 10
mental_zer0, on september 28, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album, Nirvana's final studio album (excluding MTV Unplugged) has a very bizarre sound. Nevermind was a fairly clean sounding album, and no really angry songs. In Utero, on the other hand, has some of the strangest songs on it. This albums music really shows what Kurt was going through at the time and it would seem that this was his "riskiest" album, with a much harsher tone to it. It is essentially an assault on the ears and it really tested who was really a fan of the band or someone who just caught onto "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and never understood the complexities of the band. In several songs, Kurt is downright screaming unintelligible lyrics at strange intervals and the music supports it well. It has an extreme sound for Nirvana, but a fantastic album nonetheless. // 10
Lyrics: I guess you could call it one of their most controversial albums, with the inclusion of songs with either racy lyrics, such as "Rape Me", or just songs reaching the disturbing level, like "tourette's". The lyrics are on the freaky side, and it even earned an "Explicit" mark on the iTunes Music Store. The lyrics can really get you down when you really listen to them, but a majority of the time you can't even understand it, adding to the bizarre-ness of the CD. It does take getting used to, but spend the time doing it. You won't regret it. // 10
Overall Impression: As stated before, this album is strange and depressing, even for Nirvana. It may take some getting used to, and you probably won't enjoy it if you weren't a truly hardcore fan, but if you really try to appreciate it, it will grow on you. My overall impression is that it definitely stands up to Nevermind, if not better. It is just about my favorite Nirvana album, along with Bleach. If you don't have it yet, buy it. If you lost it, buy it again. You can't miss out. // 10
unregistered, on april 06, 2007 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: On In Utero, Nirvana trades in the heavy metal meets the Beatles sound for a noise-rock approach, so, the sound quality is pretty terrible. But that is, for this album at least, a good thing. Kurt lays down some great riffs that are on some tracks corrosive and heavy (Tourette's, Scentless Apprentice), and other times very hooky (serve the servants, very ape). The rhythm section does a great job on this album, but doesnt't make it's prescence known as well as on Nevermind. The album does have songs that just don't seem to fit (Heart-Shaped Box, Rape Me, All Apoligies). These however, are arguably the best on the album. Everything about this album, even Kurt's voice, are a huge leap from Nevermind, but I consider it a must-own. // 8
Lyrics: The theme of each song is different on this album. It leaps from medical lyrics (scentless apprentice, milk it), to self-hate (rape me, pennyroyal tea, dumb), to random screaming (tourette's). However, the lyrics fit very well with each song. Kurt's voice is probably the most pained on this album than the rest, and he seems to sound like he did on About A Girl from Bleach than he did on anything else. I have heard this album be described as a suicide note from Cobain, and hearing the voice and the scalding lyrics together proves the point. // 9
Overall Impression: This is one of the better (and most haunting) albums I have ever heard, but it does have some weak points. Sometimes the band seems to be floundering in massive amounts of feedback without any actual song structure. But, on the other hand, this is Nirvana's heaviest outing. Despite the heavy songs on the album, the softer ones seem to be the best, such as Dumb, All Apoligies, and Heart-Shaped Box. If this album somehow was lost or stolen, I would certainly get another copy immediately, and I suggest it to anybody. // 10
Stratogibson, on july 18, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: In Utero is by far Nirvana's most dark and aggressive sounding album they ever made. The guitar playing is very heavy and the drumming is very loud on this album. Overall this album comes across to the listener as being very angry and tormented. In Utero is unlike any other grunge album and had some of the craziest solos Kurt Cobain ever belted out of his guitar. This album was probably not as influential as Nevermind but, it reveals the true music that Nirvana fans wanted their band to be known for. // 10
Lyrics: In Utero contains the best thought out lyrics of any Nirvana album. The meaning in most of the songs are very dark and mysterious. Kurt Cobain definitely got his point across in this album with his lyrics. He showed his hatred towards the media, the music industry, and bandwagon fans who jumped on just because they had started a new "trend" and were all of a sudden the band to like. Kurt's singing in this album possesses a lot of controlled screaming that fit the guitar riffs. The songs that stick out lyrically are Heart-Shaped Box, Milk It, Very Ape, Scentless Apprentice, Pennyroyal Tea and Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle. // 10
Overall Impression: This album was the Anti-Nevermind. Nirvana knew they would lose fans making this album more dark and less "poppy". My favorite songs on In Utero are: Heart-Shaped Box, Rape Me, Serve the Servants, Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle, Pennyroyal Tea, and All Apologies. The only dislike on this album is the beginning of Radio Friendly Unit Shifter. I think it is that noise at the start ot the song that draws me away from it. The chorus sounds good though. I guess the title of the track reflects the irony the sound of the song has. If I lost In Utero I would buy it back beacause it has a lot more heart and soul put into it than any other Nirvana album. // 9
Myaccount876, on september 29, 2010 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is Nirvana's last studio CD and it is their best to me. I've heard that everything done on this album is one take and they tried to get away from the sound of Nevermind and have a darker sound. It is one of those albums that you have to listen to because I have never heard of any other album that sounds like it. // 9
Lyrics: Kurt Cobain did an excellent job on this album when it came to lyrics. He has said that they really don't have much meaning but to me they have a lot of meaning that I feel is missing in today's music. There is Rape Me which is an anti=rape song and Radio Freindly Unit Shifter which is about the media. Pretty much every song is amazing when it comes to lyrics. And Kurt seems to stay in tune with the mussic on all of the songs.
01. Serve the Servants: A song about his problems with his dad. (Two of the lines are "I tried hard to have a father but instead I had a dad) Amazing song, but some find it annoying. 8.5/10
02. Scentless Apprentance: Song about a book he read. The opening drums were awesome but the rest of the songs takes a while to get used to. 8/10
03. Heart Shaped Box: This is the song that tells you the rest of the album is amazing. Nothing else really needs to be said. 9.5/10
04. Rape Me: To many, very controversal song, to me, not really. Great song. 9/10
05. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle: Very long title, awesome song. Very powerful guitar and vocals in it and one of my favorites. 10/10
06. Dumb: Nice acoustic song that I listen to every time I feel down or if you feel dumb and seperate from the rest of the world. Just a perfect, beautiful song. 10/10
07. Very Ape: Not many people like this song but it is one of my favorite songs from In Utero. It's also very short at 1:56. Another powerful song. 9/10
08. Milk It: This was probably my second least favorite song on the album. The album seems to die down as soon as theis song starts but then you are suprised at the next two songs. 7.5/10
09. Pennyroyal Tea: Song about stomach problems. (I'm on warm milk, and laxitives, cherry flavored antiacids) 9/10
10. Radio Freindly Unit Shifter: Feedback with delay pedal and vibrato on 8th fret on the B and E strings will be a turn off for many as soon as they hear it but after just a few times, you kind of like it and the rest of the song (Especially Chorus and Bridge) is just amazingly powerful and angry. Probably in MY top ten Nirvana songs. 11/10
11. Tourette's: This was my least favorite song on the album but I think it is funny how NO ONE can understand what he is saying which I think he tried to do. 7.5/10
12. All Apologies: You've heard it, it's great. 9.5/10 // 10
Overall Impression: If I lost it, I would buy it again and try to get an international copy so I could get the hidden track Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through the Strip. I said all the songs on top and I did not hate anything at all. Amazing album. Buy it! (Have to waste // 10
iwannabesedated, on october 26, 2010 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is the noisiest, least accessible pop album ever made, and for good reason. After Nevermind, Kurt Cobain wanted an album to in essence, "test" fans they had unwittingly gained in their previous album. This is almost the antithesis of Nevermind. Whereas Nevermind was a heavy, punk influenced, rock band breaking into the mainstream with heavily produced poppy songs, In Utero was a pop rock band becoming experimental with a bare-bones production.
Kurt plays his guitar like a madman in this album. The riffs are more intricate than Nevermind, and are incredibly hard-edged. Though Krist Novoselic's bass isn't as pronounced as it was in Nevermind, the lines he plays are incredibly strong. Many lack the melodic hook he usually incorporated, but it contributes to the sound of the album more than most realize. Dave Grohl's drumming is perfect. Nevermind shows him off, but this album has the drums as the most easily heard instrument in the mix. He goes from pounding the skins like there's no tomorrow on harder tracks, then a soft and thoughtful rhythm on others. The inclusion of other instruments is done well, if sparingly, especially the cello on All Apologies.
Steve Albini's production is genius, giving the album a feel like everything was done in one take. The band is also in their best songwriting form, and musically is every bit as good as their breakthrough Nevermind. // 10
Lyrics: Kurt's lyrics have always been great. This album though, really shows off the best that ever came from his pen. Maybe the most powerful lyric is the very first one in the entire album: "Teenage Angst has paid off well, Now I'm bored and old." In one sentence, Kurt put into perspective everything they, and pretty much every grunge band had achieved to that point. He continues this angry and desperate sounding theme through many of the songs. Scentless Apprentice is a creepy story of killing virgins to make perfume. Very Ape contains another one of my all time favorite lyrics: "If you ever need anything please don't, hesitate to ask someone else first, I'm too busy acting like I'm not naive, I've seen it all, I was here first." Rape Me and Radio Friendly Unit Shifter are very impressive attacks on the music industry (though the former is a little obvious). Tourette's is the angriest love song I've ever heard. Then, there's the mournful side of Kurt. Dumb and Pennyroyal Tea are confessional songs that give an insight into Kurt's mind, and even his life. Heart Shaped Box will always be the most famous on this album, and the lyrics are the most typical of Nirvana songs. The words are juxtaposed in an odd way and to the layman it may sound like it means nothing. The disjointed wording makes this song the more mysterious, ranging this song from a deep love song, to a song about childhood cancer (as Kurt said), and back again. Then, there's All Apologies. The best lyrical masterpiece Kurt ever did. No song has ever been written that gave me chills more than this, especially the closing chant. "All Alone is all we are..." Nothing more really can be said.
Through it all, however, Kurt's voice is great. His singing ability is an odd combination. He's gravely and raspy, yet still has a very melodic and nice tone. Maybe the only artist in history where drug use almost made his voice better. Steve Albini's capturing of the vocals are just as impressive as the vocals themselves. What you hear is what you get. There's no studio wizardry there. Every ounce of emotion Kurt is giving is being received, no more, no less. // 10
Overall Impression: 01. Serve the Servants: this song pairs some of the more hard-hitting lyrics in Nirvana's catalogue with the hands down best guitar riff he ever wrote. 10/10
02. Scentless Apprentice: unlike most of their other songs, this one was a completely cooperative musical endeavor, it even started with a Dave Grohl drum beat. Previously mentioned dark lyrics. 8/10
03. Heart Shaped Box: the song on the album that best exploits the alt-rock staple of quiet verse-exploding chorus. Lyrics are mysterious and intricate. Beautiful. 10/10
04. Rape Me: a well known song from this album that I find a bit overrated. A very strong song, but not on the level that many of the others on the album are. 7/10
05. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle: the quiet/loud dynamic shifts are done quite well, and the lyrics are more straightforward than most Nirvana songs, but a dark, well done song. 8/10
06. Dumb: a great way to continue the album. After four barn-burners, a dark and thoughtful song really paces the album well, and has very strong lyrics. 9/10
07. Very Ape: a simple, yet very effective song. Heavy, it's a short burst of awesome punk rock attitude. Great lyrics as well. 9/10
08. Milk It: an experimental song to a certain extent. Quiet/loud dynamics used well again, but this song takes that to a different level. Interesting lyrics, but not one of the stronger songs on the album. 6/10
09. Pennyroyal Tea: an interesting look into the mind of one Kurt Donald Cobain. Stomach problems, social ability, just life in general. A quiet, and very thoughtful song that shows Kurt at one of his most emotional. 9/10
10. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter: the better of the two anti-music industry songs on the album. It's got an ironic name, and it has more of his mysterious lyrics, and an incredibly cool riff. 9/10
11. Tourette's: Punk Rock. Anger and frustration. Pure and Simple. My only problem with this song is that it's too short. 10/10
12. All Apologies: the most beautiful song Cobain ever wrote. It has the most original melody Nirvana ever used, and his lyrics and voice are pitch perfect. 10/10
Though Nevermind may be better and more influential on a historical level. In Utero is the purer Nirvana album. It's more powerful, less produced, and more honest. It also is a better listen all the way through, as it sounds more like a concept album where every song contributes to the whole. It will always be underrated, and I wouldn't have it any other way. // 10
unregistered, on january 09, 2006 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is probably the best alternative rock/grunge album ever created. Forget the whole Kurt Cobain hype about his suicide and shit and focuss on the art of the music. This dude really knew how write a song. Extremely powerful in all aspects. Both the softer and heavier songs hit you hard. Music is all about emotion and its all there in In Utero even if it is simple and uncomplicated. Every song on this album is just brilliant in its own way. // 10
Lyrics: When it comes to nirvana lyrics, everyone has there own opinion on what the songs are about. They are perposely mistick I guess. Only Kurt knew what was in his mind so what ever you want the song to mean, it does. For me, lyrics are the last thing you look at in a song. But his are still very poetic and cool. // 9
Overall Impression: Here is my over view of each song.
01. Serve The Servants - starts rough with odd chords but it works with Kurt's harsher voice in the verses. The chorus is simple and calmer with a cool vibe. not the best on the album but still good.
02. Scentless Apprentise - a song that seems to be based around the rythum of Daves drum kit. More of the alternative side of Nirvana. Very not pop rock
03. Heart-Shaped Box - a classic. Simple, but makes every note count. Soft verses and loud choruses. A staple Nirvana song.
04. Rape Me - four of the most intensly strummed power chords ever. It's kind of like Smells Like Teen Spirit version 2 but more personal.
05. Frances - the weakest song on the album. A bit bland and dull but still worth a listen. Cool bridge.
06. Dumb - simpley the best song ever written in my opinion. The song starts straight off the hat on such a smooth bass line from Krist that rides the entire song. Kurt plays his accoustic guitar quietly but playfully with whispery, spacey vocals. The cello really adds to the feeling of the song in choruses and bridge. Roll a joint and float away dude.
07. Very Ape - a real rock song. A good one.
08. Milk It - another not so poppy song that is awesome. How do you write a song like this? Soft/hard dynamics again that work really well.
09. pennyroyal Tea - 2 chord verse, 3 chord chorus and simple solo. Not the best, but cool. The MTV solo accoustic version is better.
10. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter - alternative? Yes. Good? Very. Smile on face when listening to song? Big.
11. Tourretes - straight up fast punk crazyness. Loud and piercing. The reason the good gods created our ears. Wicked song. Totally.
12. All Apollogies - it's like a sweet nursery rhyme with the most straight forward intension. A perfect way to end the album. Good one Kurt.
Listen to this album and realise how shit todays popular rock is. Another band will hopefully rise again to the challenge one day, but for now, nothing touches this album. All in all is all we all are. // 10