Sound — 9
If you haven't heard Nirvana you are either a) jazz fan, b) deaf, or c) living under a rock. This is THE most important band of the last 25 years and "Nevermind" is their most important album. The variety of music on this album goes from pop-rock to grunge to punk and all the way back. The album is mainly known for smells like teen spirit, the song that catapulted Kurt Cobain and Nirvana to superstardom, yet it isn't the best song on this near perfect album. The grinding, heavy guitars compliment the Beatle-esque pop melodies and the contrast between quiet verses and loud choruses work in a way that only one band can get away with. They did it on this album.
Lyrics — 9
If the sound and music are legendary, the lyrics are godly. Certain lines stick out such as "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't after you", "We can plant a house, we can build a tree" and "Truth covered in security, I won't let you smother me". The lyrics are as good as they get on an album since Lennon and McCartney. Kurt's voice is definitely divisive as the raspiness and rawness doesn't suit every person's ears. This said though the vulnerability of Kurt Cobain's vocals show a man that means every single word that he sings, shouts or cries.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is as relevant 20 years after release as it was 20 years ago. It is almost flawless and the production is near perfection. If this album was stolen I would buy it again although I own 2 copies of it anyway. Buy this album if you don't have it already.