37. Nirvana: In Utero
I will always remember when I first heard that Kurt Cobain died. I was insanely late to the game. It was only about 4 months after I discovered who Nirvana was (also because my family had JUST gotten MTV). My first exposure to Nirvana was when Wayne’s World 2 was coming out. MTV did a special in which Wayne and Garth would introduce various music videos and they played the music video for Heart-Shaped Box. They thought Kurt was screaming “Hey Wayne”.
About a month later my family got MTV and I heard smells like teen spirit for the first time. I really dug it. I think it was about 2 weeks later MTV was gearing up for the MTV Video Music Awards and they were doing a recap of the year. That’s when I heard Kurt Cobain was gone. Like I said, very very late to the game.
Whenever I did finally hear In Utero I loved it. I have always liked it more than Nevermind. When I was 10 this was strictly because I liked more songs on In Utero but as I’ve gotten older I appreciate it because I find it an impressive collection of emotions, anti-music/nosie rock and as rock critic Chuck Klosterman once described it Guilt Rock.
Kurt mostly focused on writing about books instead of his life (although some songs are very clearly about it) but as Klosterman pointed out. Even just by singing about books it let’s people into his world regardless. My favorite tracks are the opening track Serve the Servants and Milk It. While Nevermind was written in the studio and the lyrics mean nothing In Utero kicks off with Kurt expressing how short-lived the grunge movement was “Teenage Angst Has Paid Off Well/Now I’m Bored and Old” and then a few lyrics about the presses perspective of Courtney Love (“If she floats than she is not a witch like we thought”).
The other song (“Milk It”) used to be one of my least favorite songs, it doesn’t mean much of anything as I can tell but I absolutely love it. It’s one of the more interesting pieces of noise rock on the record.
This album is worth checking out and better (but not as commercially successful) as their album Nevermind.