Sound — 9
The simplest way to put it is that "Meat Puppets II" is an eclectic album. Ranging from songs influenced by their hardcore days, such as "Split Myself In Two" or "Lake Of Fire", to country, like "Climbing", to instrumental songs, such as "Aurora Borealis". Despite this, the album is somehow tied together nearly perfectly. Obviously, this album reached whole new groups of fans after Nirvana covered several songs off of the album on their unplugged album. The connection is evident, and at times it sounds like the Meat Puppets are "doing Nirvana" better than Nirvana does. This is especially evident in "The Whistling Song" and "Split Myself In Two". The guitar work on this album is very strong as well. Though some songs are simply chord driven, there is some more technical work on "Aurora Borealis" and "Climbing" that most guitarists will enjoy.
Lyrics — 10
The songwriting on this album seems to have influenced Kurt Cobain too. The lyrics are observational, and at most points spacey, but "Lake Of Fire" stands out as the finest example of writing on the album. It is a pointed satire on fanatical evangelism, and is quite powerful. "Oh, Me" and "Plateau", two more songs that Nirvana covered, seem to have, incidentally, influenced the style of songwriting that Cobain popularized with Nirvana: seemingly random and image heavy. The almost distracted delivery on "Oh, Me"; "Plateau"; and "Climbing" suit both the lyrics and the music perfectly. Likewise, the painful screams in "Lake Of Fire" exemplify the pain of the subject at hand. Overall the vocal delivery is excellent, and very suited to the album.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall this album is extremely impressive. The comparison between this album and Nirvana's discography will live on because of Nirvana's use several songs from this album as covers. However, "Meat Puppets II" compares favorably to anything Nirvana ever made top to bottom, with the possible exception of "Nevermind". This album has very little, if any filler. It stands as one of the most impressive albums produced of its time. In terms of guitar technicality "Aurora Borealis" is the top song on the album, however "Meat Puppets II" prove that there is more to a great album than simple technicality. This album is a must buy. It has pretty much anything a music lover could want due to its versatility.