Sound — 9
I vaguely remember Nirvana growing up, this being because Nirvana was sadly over before I was three years old. However I did hear some of their songs on the radio, like Smells Like Teen Spirit and Lithium, etc. But in the past year or so I have really started listening to music seriously and I can honestly say Nirvana is one of my favorites. What was so special about Kurt Cobain was that he could take poppy, catchy songs and make them sound so heavy, and in your face. This album is probably the best of their three studio records, being that it took alternative/grunge music to the mainstream. Did Nirvana ask to be put in the spotlight? No, but with this record, Kurt was put as the spokesperson as the then modern music. With the high energy guitars and drums plus the angst ridden lyrics, it was impossible for Kurt not to be the voice of his generation.
Lyrics — 9
Supposedly most of the songs on this album were written about Kurt's relationship with Tobi Vail, an ex-girlfriend. So, in a way the songs are written in a pained, personal, expression than they are as trying to evoke a message. I believe Kurt is a great lyricist in some ways, because he doesn't exactly follow the certain writing criteria, meaning he talks about some things that would seem uncomfortable or are darker than others. 01.Smells Like Teen Spirit: there probably is no other song on this album that is a better opener than Smells Like Teen Spirit. With it's high energy sound and Kurt giving one of his best singing performances ever, the sound is amazing. However the lyrics were written as nothing more than nonsense. The only real reason the song was considered angst ridden was the music video. 02.In Bloom: this song is one of my favorites on this record. Kurt is basically writing about the kind of person who just sings along to any song, not really listening to the words he's singing. What's so great is that Kurt makes the song itself catchy and it's hard not to sing along to! 03.Come As You Are: this is a great track as well. With it's haunting riff played over and over, it gives the song a kind of dark sound. It's also kind of eerie hearing Kurt say, "I swear I don't have a gun". 04.Breed: a very high energy song that you can't help but feel rebellious and causing chaos. I do think though this is another song written about nonsense. 05.Lithium: my personal favorite on Nevermind. With the loud and quiet dynamics, and Kurt yelling "Ya" in the chorus, it gives the song an awesome sound. Written about a man who turns to religion after everything in his life goes bad. 06.Polly: another dark, haunting song. Written about a raping of a girl in the narrative of the rapist. 07.Territorial Pissings: the most punk song on Nevermind. It's very high energy and loud. I don't think it has any really meaning. 08.Drain You: another decent song. It kind of has a more poppy sound, reminiscent of The Beatles. Written about the relationship between Kurt and Tobi Vail. 09.Lounge Act: an okay song. Supposedly another song about Tobi Vail. 10.Stay Away: this song means absolutely nothing. Probably the weakest song on Nevermind. 11.On A Plain: another one of my favorites. Kind of goes along with Drain You with the poppy, catchiness. 12.Something In The Way: the most darkest song on the record. It keeps being interpreted that Kurt was writing about himself living under a bridge. However, that's not true. Still with that in mind, it gives the song a depressing feeling. 13.Endless, Nameless: if your record has it, okay. If not, don't worry about it. Basically a seven minute jam with Kurt screaming nonsense words over it. It is pretty safe to say that Kurt Cobain is one hell of a singer. You can definitely tell he's singing his guts out and singing with emotion. In fact on Territorial, he loses his voice at the end!
Overall Impression — 10
Overall this is a great album. It's so catchy in so many songs that it's hard not to sing along to and yet it's heavy. What makes Nevermind so highly regarded is it brought grunge music to the mainstream and totally redefined popular music. Listen to the music and appreciate it as what it is and not about how Kurt was depressed with his life, cause that's not what Nevermind is all about. Kurt was not depressed at all in the making of this album and I truly believe this is the greatest piece of art he contributed to music. So buy this CD and give it a good listen.