Sound — 10
Basically the godfathers of grunge, Nirvana has a sound that transcends pop culture. I bought the album after hearing "Come As You Are" and "Lithium," first hooked by the dark, melodic riffs and then reeled in after the screaming choruses. I love the mixture of the screaming, the whispering, and the inaudiable verses you hear in songs like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "All Apologies." The blending of both grunge and acoustic performances was just amazing. Kurt's use of unorthodox scales, patterns and even harmonics is just mind-blowingly simple and creative at the same time. Definitely worth a listen.
Lyrics — 9
Now, I do agree, some of Nirvana's lyrics were a bit mystifying and of course hard to hear, but the mood that some of them set makes up for that. All the songs in there deal with the feelings Kurt Cobain felt during his life, I. e. teen angst, depression, love, hate, anger, fear, etc. so there is a great deal of emotion used in each and every song. He even makes his cover of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World" sound like his own. But then you get those songs where you're wondering, "What's he saying?" So while they may not have the greatest lyrics, they still send out a message.
Overall Impression — 10
I think this album is a great album for the new Nirvana fan, seeing as this is basically your starter-set for grunge. It does have some very hard-to-find tracks, like "Sliver," and it basically takes the best of every album and radio hit. I was a little disappointed that "Polly" or "Jesus Doesn't Want Me For a Sunbeam" weren't on there, but most of the songs were their big radio hits. I love the sound that the band creates throughout the album, from depressed to angry to hate to love and back again. If I lost this album or someone stole it from me, I'd definitely buy it again, no hesitation. This is a great album, but the seperate albums do give you a little more depth to the band.