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By LordoftheJimmy
November 8, 2013
Rating: 9.5

It's only been a little over 20 years since the release of Nirvana's landmark Nevermind album. But since Cobain's tragic death, this classic 90s disc has appeared as a top contender on a number of "Greatest Rock" lists. Whether this album should be in the same company as Abbey Road, Let It Bleed, Are You Experienced or Dark Side Of The Moon, is a mute point. It may not have the same kind of virtuoso playing that we heard in the golden years of rock, and maybe Kurt Cobain isn't as good a singer as some of rock's greatest screamers, but Nirvana's raw energy and "Fuck you" attitude is reminiscent of the rebellious 1960s and '70s. It was a welcome change from the commercialized bullshit and MTV-driven gimmicks that made rock a parody of itself in the 1980s. Nirvana decided that the music came first and image wasn't important.  

Just the shear power behind "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from Dave Grohl's explosive drum intro to Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic's incendiary amps sounds so organic and real. Credit Butch Vig for the great mix. There have been few albums since then to equal it. Kurt's teen-revolution themed lyrics are almost unintelligible (which was the subject of Weird Al's parody of the song), but with Kurt's emotionally-driven vocal performance, who cares what he's singing about? What did use to bug me about the song was the lackluster guitar solo (where Kurt just copped the melody line), but it's grown on me since then. 

My other favorites are your favorites. "In Bloom" might take the top spot for my favorite tune. I love the twisted Lennon-inspired lyrics complimented with that bone-grinding guitar riff and Dave Grohl's musical drum fills. The chorus' harmonies are also spectacular. Love "Come As You Are," "Lithium" (though not as much as others do), the unsettling "Polly," a very underrated rocker "Stay Away," The Beatles' influenced "On a Plain" and the tragic journey into Kurt's tortured mind "Something in the Way." The other songs may fall into filler territory, but they're still fun to listen to. I love Krist singing "Get Together" before "Territorial Pissings," not to mention that enjoyable train-wreck of an ending.  

Clearly, Nirvana understood the angst and attitude of pure unadulterated rock and roll, but Kurt's pop-music roots made the album accessible to the general public making Nevermind a smash hit. Instead of adding to the laundry list of generic soulless rock tracks at the time, Nirvana paved the way for great music to come in the 1990s. They went in a different, but still enjoyable, direction with In Utero and their astounding Unplugged performance, but they would be Cobain's last recordings. One can only wonder where Nirvana would have taken the music world had they continued. 

To listen to some sound clips from Nevermind or to buy it. click on: Nevermind iconor Nevermind (Deluxe Edition) icon

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