Unplugged In New York review by Nirvana

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  • Released: Nov 1, 1994
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.6 (94 votes)
Nirvana: Unplugged In New York

Sound — 10
Well, I might start this off by stating clearly for once and for all that this album is fantastic. This is an album featuring some cover songs, many of Nirvana's popular songs translated into an acoustic version. Here are the songs and a little about them. 01. About A Girl - this is an acoustically modified version of the song in Nirvana's first ever album, Bleach. This sounds great, though it is possible to say Kurt brought his voice a maybe a bit too high in some parts of the song. But this is still great; a classic. 02. Come As You Are - you guessed it. This is the hit from Nevermind, only played acoustic. Both are great, because both have more pro's than con's. But this still is a fantastic song, everything from the dark guitar background verse riff to the light pre-chorus, and the chorus itself. 03. Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam - Krist played the accordian on this one, and Kurt played his acoustic part. Both played fantastic. The way Kurt's vocals sound bittersweet in many of these songs is what makes him the man I consider the last real rockstar. 04. The Man Who Sold The World - the beautiful acoustic riffs and melodies in this just make this song so unstoppable, you just have that urge to keep on listening to it, to not let it stop. 05. Pennyroyal Tea - this song also won itself a place in the famous Nirvana Greatest Hits album, and it definitely deserves that place. The lyrics might strike you first as "wierd", but the smooth, soothing song itself is just fantastic. 06. Dumb - the guest stars Chris and Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets play guitar in this song as well, and the way the guitars collide in a well-organized way makes this song even better. The lyrics are great. 07. Polly - if I am not mistaken, this is the third album in which some form of this song exists. First the raw, original yet somewhat amateur version of it in Bleach, then a more raw, more live, faster and deeper version of it in Incesticide, and finally one last final acoustic version of it performed Unplugged In New York. A great song, I love the way every verse starts off with something about "Polly". 08. On A Plain - this is one of my favorites in this album, probably because I love the original Nevermind version of it so much. The song played acoustic sounds so familiar, yet so different. The bridge that repeats itself over and over, the "Love myself, better than you! I know it's wrong, so what should I do." makes me think of Kurt Cobain reflecting upon his own life, his self-hatred of the negative things about him. 09. Something In The Way - another Nevermind track. This song features the celloist Lori Goldston. I love the way Kurt sings this song so emotionally. The lyrics may sound a little bit funny at first, but they do not sound funny when you imagine Kurt Cobain suffering as one of those homeless people. You can hear similar topics sung in "Help Me I'm Hungry", only in a more violent and crude way. This song is fantastic. I love it. 10. Plateau - this is a Meat Puppets cover song, and I love the guitar riffs in this. The way Kurt strains his vocals in the second chorus is fantastic. The lyrics are somewhat "random", (Nothing on the top but a bucket and a mop and an illustrated book about birds) but the music, especially the outro solo, is just amazing. 11. Oh Me - this song also features the other guitarists, and is another song that makes you feel that Kurt was somewhat emotional when singing the song. Try listening to the lyrics carefully. 12. Lake Of Fire - this song is another great Meat Puppets cover, and I love the guitar riffs in it. The lyrics are great too, but it makes me feel sad listening to Kurt sing about where people go when they die. Nevertheless, I love this song. 13. All Apologies - the lyrics may seem strange, but the song itself is great to listen to, especially the chorus. This song also earned itself a well-deserved place in the Best Of album. 14. Where Did You Sleep Last Night - this song is fantastic. What else is there to say about it? This song is great. The guitar strumming in the chorus, the softer riffs in the verse, the ending part, where the lyrics are screamed, where Kurt lets the guitar ring, and his vocals strain on and build a suspense; then the way it just picks up and carries on after the seconds of silence. This song is just great. If you listen to this very carefully, maybe there is a message from Kurt Cobain that he wanted all of us to understand. The selection of the songs, the way they are placed in a certain album order but also in a story pattern; and the way he just comes back to the entertaining figure of the wonderful Kurt Cobain that we all love and respect. R.I.P. Kurt Cobain.

Lyrics — 10
I was deeply impressed with the lyrics in the songs, and even though they were either songs from previous albums or cover songs, the song selection itself seems to mean something. The way the songs are chosen and the lyrics in them all are just great.

Overall Impression — 10
Many artists have produced unplugged albums and live albums over the years, but there are hardly any that can beat this one. In my opinion, this is the best live acoustic performance ever. It has everything. The songs, the quality, the stage arragement, the people themselves, the bands, the special guests, the talking in between the songs, the finale and the music itself.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I love the way Kurt's voice sounds on Lake of Fire when he strains to hit those high notes..... it makes me smile every time!
    i think the covers made the album...all the reasoning that i need is the grungy accordion
    One of the reviews said that there is a version of Polly on bleach, insecticide, and this album, when actually it isn't on bleach, its on nevermind, regardless this is my favorite nirvana album, and the best unplugged session period.
    I listen to this album more then any other album's. I absolutely love. Every song from About a Girl to Where Did You Sleep Last Night are great.
    Lake Of Fire is about hell, All Apologies is his way of saying sorry, and Where Did You Sleep Last Night shows his his suspicion of his loved ones (Courtney Love in particular).
    those are both covers, he didnt write those!!!!!
    hawkdude9 wrote: Lake Of Fire is about hell, All Apologies is his way of saying sorry, and Where Did You Sleep Last Night shows his his suspicion of his loved ones (Courtney Love in particular). those are both covers, he didnt write those!!!!!
    but i think hes trying to say that KC chose that song because of his suspicion
    hawkdude9 wrote: Lake Of Fire is about hell, All Apologies is his way of saying sorry, and Where Did You Sleep Last Night shows his his suspicion of his loved ones (Courtney Love in particular). He wrote All Apologies, it was on an LP they released a bit after In Utero I believe. But you're right, Lake of Fire is a Meat Puppets cover and Where Did you Sleep Last Night is a Leadbelly cover. those are both covers, he didnt write those!!!!!