In Utero



by mranti USER (21 Reviews)
March 29th, 2005 | 16 replies

Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

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Few artists come around who change the genre, who defy all odds and ultimately launch a generation of copy cats, let alone change lives in under an hour more than soapbox televangelists do in an entire lifetime. Comparing Nirvana's debut album "Bleach", with its Black Sabbath soaked head banger cult status rock, to their sophomore classic album "Nevermind", which almost resembles a bloody water fight between the Sex Pistols and the Vaselines, a person could easily imagine a ten year gap between the two, let alone just two short years. The pressure was definitely on Kurt Cobain and co. to followup what was known as an album that would threaten the likes of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" success almost 20 years prior. Instead of buckling in and beginning an endless career of trying to duplicate what was, Nirvana made one of the most artistically dark but curiously beautiful albums of all time, titled "In Utero". Despite the success of "Nevermind", "In Utero" trailed on its coat tails ever since in means of album sales despite doing what '"Nevermind" never did, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200. When comparing the two, one main difference stands out. "Nevermind" has pop single after pop single and "In Utero" has a view only few can grasp, and shortly after the hugely successful hit single "Heart Shaped Box" was released, Kurt Cobain was found dead, leaving Nirvana's future uncertain. Although it was clear that Kurt Cobain was most likely going to both leave Courtney Love and leave Nirvana in the not so distant future, touring stopped, new videos off of "In Utero" stopped, and basically all forms of promotion stopped. Fortunately for fans, Nirvana preformed on MTV Unplugged, which aired and released the album posthumously to Kurt Cobain, giving an ironic final note, considering the show had a funeral-like setting and a host of songs about death and depression, to a legacy that most bands spanning 20 years of new material albums could never get in Nirvana's 5.

"Nevermind" was full of teenage angst, ironically, the first line on "In Utero" is, 'Teenage angst has paid off well, now I'm bored and old.' "Serve The Servants" opens the album up with a bright sounding song about the 'witch hunt' of media exposure, namely Courtney Love's persecution. It is clear with this opening track that "In Utero" isn't the power chord punk rock of before, but a progression to simply good songs that defy labels and just hit the listener with a sledge hammer to the abdomen. The album art of "In Utero" is riddled with flowers, fetuses, and bodily organs of all kinds, which almost paints itself with the tone of the music inside. The cover art is a see-through woman with wings, showcasing the juxtaposition of ethereal to disgusting. Based on the book "Perfume" by Patrick Suskind, "Scentless Apprentice" opens up with Dave Grohl's pounding drums and continues to Kurt Cobain screaming the guitar and screaming his lungs out. You can tell the bands emotional pain with this album, namely Kurt Cobain's plea for some kind of release. "Scentless Apprentice" is so heavy that anyone just wanting to break stuff will find the perfect accompaniment. Possibly one of the best songs Nirvana ever recorded is "Heart Shaped Box", which opens with cryptic guitar to Kurt and Dave harmonizing. About addictions of any sort, Kurt sings from the heart pleading, 'Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back.' There's a pretty arrangement of quite to loud, right and wrong, and life to death, all of which are evident in the amazing video partnering the song. Next is "Rape Me", a song that stabs at both "Smells Like Teen Spirt" and the crucifixion of the public eye. Though evidence points both ways, if Kurt Cobain killed himself than this song, alongside of the entire album, is as much of a suicide note as anything. "Rape Me" proclaims a poetic justice of a rapist will then be raped in jail. Continuing in the album are "Unplugged" like songs to loud and angry with themes of injustice, ignorance is bliss, the egotistical, dependency, abortion, marketing, disorder, and regret. Highlights of which include the cello accompanied "Dumb" which provides more of a raw feeling to that of their "Unplugged" performance, "Pennyroyal Tea" which holds the same grounds as "Dumb", and ambiguously Nirvana's best song, "All Apologies".

Overseas versions of "In Utero" include the bonus track "Gallons Of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through The Strip", which is a laugh at themselves and at the music industry in general.

Personal Note- I've searched far and wide and can honestly say that this is my favorite album, and will venture to say it is the best album ever recorded. To fully appreciate it, one must appreciate and understand Nirvana and what they stood for. If you want a great album, one that puts faith in you that the music industry isn't all s***, "In Utero" is the one to buy and listen to often.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
March 30th 2005


awesome review dude!!

March 30th 2005


excellent review!

March 30th 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

i agree with everyhting you say. good review

John Galt
August 29th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0


September 6th 2005


This review totally owns the other one. Sorry, br3ad.

September 6th 2005


Indeed, great review.


September 6th 2005


Probably the best review I've read here.

September 6th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, but I have to disagree. I think that Nirvana is one of the most overated grunge/rock group of all time.

April 1st 2006


I can see where you can not like Nirvana......but to say that they, who literally changed the world in a matter of hours.....and whos direct influence musically and visually can still be seen today by turning on your tv even though Kurt died over 10 years ago, are the most overated of all time shows how ignorant you are. C'mon....Smells Like Teen Spirit got realeased as a single...and by the next day, hundreds of hair metal bands that were use to the good life suddenly had no jobs. could say that if it wouldn't have been would have been someone else...but thats a very lame argument. There's no other band that had the right elements to do what Nirvana did....and I'm not even that huge of a Nirvana fan.

April 1st 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Fantastic review for a phenomenal record. You gave this album the praise and recognition it truly deserves. Well played!

April 1st 2006


Amazing review, though I was saddened that it ended so soon, would of loved to hear your analysis on Very Ape, Milk It, Tourette's and Radio Friendly Unit Shelter! Will look out for your future reviews!

April 1st 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

dude this review is fucking sweet. i agree with everything you said. if i realised you had done one like this i probably wouldnt have done a review myself.

April 28th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Great Review. I read in "Love and Death" that when Courtney first began to hook up with Mr. Cobain she sent him a heart-shaped box. Coincidence? I think not...

April 28th 2006


Interesting, I wasn't aware of that.^ good review. good album

June 16th 2006


Best Nirvana album lol

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