Sound — 10
Diverse and yet you can still tell its Nirvana with their usual flowing verses and slamming choruses. To get the full feel of each song I will go through each one individually: 01. You Know You're Right - strange start but very catchy once you get to Novoselic's awesome watery bass playing. Then Kurt Cobain comes in with his eerie yet moving vocals. Very good. I give it a 5. 02. About A Girl - classic rock. Classic Nirvana. Starts with Cobain's usual slappy guitar playing (As in Smells Like Teen Spirit and Rape Me). Great drum playing in this song. I think in this song, Cobain tries to stretch his voice a liitle too high though. I still give it a 5. 03. Been A Song - catchy. Has an agreeable melody and riff. The verses have a latter day Beatles flavor to them but the song is a little monotonous. I give it a 4. 04. Sliver - definitely a different feel from the last three. Obscure is the word. I like the bass riff in the beggining. I don't like the overall motion of the song, there is no emotional climb. I give it a 3. 05. Smells Like Teen Spirit - do I even need to say anything. Dave Grohl wrote the majority of the song. Between the guitar, bass, drums, and vocals, nothing stands out too much in the song (which is good) and it has some nice drum and guitar licks. Very simple and a very excellent use of power chords. Good, classic Nirvana. I give it a 5. 06. Come As You Are - I can feel the Meat Puppets in this song, who were some of Cobain's innovators. I love the watery bass at the beggining. The drums come in and make for a very cool riff. Cobain's singing isn't too over-powering in this song, which is a undetermined plus or minus. A fair to good song. I give it a 4. 07. Lithium - definitely a Beastlesque verse style (with almost McCartney sounding vocals to boot), with the usual crashing refrain. I love the chord changes in the verse. One of my favorite songs on this album. Suprisingly good despite its lack of words in the chorus. Very Good. I give it a 5. 08. In Bloom - heavy prelude. Grungy verse. Punk chorus. Probably the hardest song in the album. I'd have to say this song isn't very good as far as chord diversity and emotional climb. Not too good. Sorry. I give it a 3. 09. Heart Shaped Box - Cobain's out of the blue fingerpicking style and jumpy, yet effective use of string bending create one of the best songs on the album as far as Cobain's performance and writing ability goes. Good job Kurt. Good song. I give it a 4. 10. Pennyroyal Tea - this song was remastered after Cobain's death which is a pity because he wasn't pleased with the original product. The sound changes from the typical minor chords to a semi-bright major. I think think this a very good song musically with great chord changes and vocal harmonies. Excellent. I give it a 5. 11. Rape Me - I actually like this song a lot even though its title prevents some people from even listening to it. Starts with Cobain on guitar and vocals and Novoselic and Grohl come in later. It almost has a whimsical start and adds intensity throughout the song. Simple song but I guess its likeable. I give it a 4. 12. Dumb - great songs musically with some outstanding riffs. I can't understand the vocals, but even if Cobain hummed it would still be good. I give it a 5. 13. All Apologies - the best song on the album. A change for Nirvana from electric to acoustic doesn't hinder their performance in the song. Cobain's lengthy vocal stretch gives the song a certain grace no one would expect and the acoustic guitar creates a delightful earthy atmosphere. You can feel the passion Cobain put in this song. A plesant drum boom-chik and grooving bass drone drive the song musically and emotionally. The best song on the album. I give it a 5. 14. The Man Who Sold That World - semi distorted guitar riff in the beggining is a plus. Drums have a very hollow tone. The acoustic guitar(s) strum out some beautiful major and minor-seventh chords and Kurt Cobain's voice matches perfectly with the acoustic feel. I believe the bass shines in this song. Listen to the driving bass progressions. They are fantastic. This David Bowie classic is a very good song to end on. I give it a 5. I give the overall sound a 5. Very good in general, with only a few "iffy" parts. Musically the best are: About A Girl, Lithium, Pennyroyal Tea, All Apologies, The Man Who Sold The World and Come As You Are.
Lyrics — 10
There's no Death defying screaming, no soft whispering. Just Kurt's usual drone which, if you're used to Nirvana, is normal. The lyrics are so Nirvana original, that's a good enough reason to listen. 01. You Know You're Right - eerie yet stunning, a 5. 02. About A Girl - musical and delightful, a 5. 03. Been A Song - monotonous yet workable, a 4. 04. Sliver - plesant however out-of-place, a 3. 05. Smells Like Teen Spirit - "Wait, what are they saying?, oh well, still sounds cool!" (It cracks me up to hear people try to sing the song stupid contagious and the average bear doesn't no what a mulatto is). Classic and catchy, a 5. 06. Come As You Are - groovy and grungy, perfect, a 5. 07. Lithium - simple ergo awesome, a 5. 08. In Bloom - fair to good, a 4. 09. Heart Shaped Box - good and likeable, a 5. 10. Pennyroyal Tea - immortal and driving, a 5. 11. Rape Me - musical yet questionable, a 4. 12. Dumb - droning yet moving, a 5. 13. All Apologies - detemined and likable, a 5 14. The Man Who Sold That World - classic and stylish, a 5. The lyrics are original, and driving. The best songs vocally/lyric-wise are: You Know You're Right, About A Girl, Come As You Are, Pennyroyal Tea, Lithium, All Apologies and The Man Who Sold The World.
Overall Impression — 10
If you want Nirvana, that's what you're going to get. It is full of forceful determination in both the music and lyrics. The best 3 Nirvana written songs on the album are: About A Girl, Pennyroyal Tea, and All Apologies. These are probably Kurt Cobain's best musical acheivements. Lithium, Dumb, and Smells Like Teen Spirit are, of course, still awesome Nirvana Classics.