Sound — 10
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.
Lyrics — 8
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.
Overall Impression — 10
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.