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Nirvana – Nevermind

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nevermind (1991)

This is the most redundant review ever. But whatever.

I never really got into Nirvana. Of the Seattle Four (Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam), they probably rank third, after Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. But they are an interesting group, if only for the drama itself.

Only being 22, I don’t have the memories of the Grunge Age like people a decade older than me.  So I could never understand this band fully, or the influence and obsession associated with them.

But what I do understand are the melodies.

Not since the Beatles have I heard so many melodies on one album kept so simple yet so unique. That was one of the Beatles’ strength, and this was definitely Nirvana’s strength. The music is instantly recognizable and enjoyable, and, like the Beatles, will be listened to twenty or thirty years from now. It only takes one listen to understand emotionally somewhere where we’ve all been, even if we can’t understand it in our minds.

Because at one time we were all young. Most of us had that undirected anger and angst. At least, I did. I think Nirvana exemplified that understanding, singing feelings we couldn’t put into words.

Maybe I’m just trying to encourage the cliche of connecting Nevermind to teenage angst in a review. After all, no review of this album would be complete without it.

So that’s what this album is to me. It’s angry, it’s sorrowful, and instantly relatable. I don’t know what it taps into that gives it such a following, but perhaps it’s these feelings. I’m no psychologist, so I’ll stop trying to be one. I guess for me, it will always be the melodies of Nevermind that I’ll remember.

I’ll remember that famous opening riff of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” I’ll remember the mocking tone of “In Bloom.” I’ll remember the bounce of “Come As You Are,” the reckless abandon of “Territorial Pissings,” the haunting sorrow of “Something in the Way,” among others.

This is apparently the album of Generation X. But to me, it’s not really that, because I wasn’t there. To me, it’s just music with a catchy melody that just so happened to change the world.

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