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Album Review

Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings

November 13, 2015

This powerful collection – a companion to the HBO documentary Montage of Heck – plays like Kurt Cobain’s phantom memoir. Director Brett Morgen went through 200 hours of cassette tapes to find these song sketches and demos. Some of...

Album Review

In Utero: 20th Anniversary Edition

September 24, 2013

In 1993, In Utero's venomous sound scared DGC Records so much it hired R.E.M. producer Scott Litt to polish two key tracks. This reissue returns to the scene of the crime, with producer Steve Albini's remastered version. The LP remains corrosively beautiful,...

Album Review

Bleach (Deluxe Edition)

November 2, 2009

Hot on the heels of Live at Reading is this dolled-up 20th-anniversary (!) edition of Nirvana's debut, which barely hit the radar on its initial release but whose resonance ballooned as the band scorched the earth. Now, its near-greatness is plain, most...

Album Review


November 5, 2002

With its chorus of double-tracked, serrated, drowsy bellowing, "You Know You're Right" is the most Sabbath-esque song Kurt Cobain ever wrote. The last recording of his short career centers around harsh drones and repetitions. It is not upset and losing...

Album Review

In Utero

September 16, 1993

This is the way Nirvana's Kurt Cobain spells success: s-u-c-k-s-e-g-g-s. Never in the history of rock & roll overnight sensations has an artist, with the possible exception of John Lennon, been so emotionally overwhelmed by his sudden good fortune,...

Album Review


November 28, 1991

Despite the hand-wringing the fanzines do each time an indie-rock hero signs a major-label deal, righteous postpunk stars from Hüsker Dü to Soundgarden have joined the corporate world without debasing their music. More often than not, ambitious...

Album Review

Nevermind 20th Anniversary

September 27, 2011

When Nevermind exploded into earshot in the autumn of 1991, it was startling: a grenade detonating in your car radio. It sounded like the end of something (the 1980s? hair metal?), or maybe the beginning of something ("alternative rock"? "Generation X"?)....

Album Review

With The Lights Out - Box Set

December 9, 2004

Excessive? Definitely. But so was everything else about Nirvana. They tried too hard, screamed too loud, made a mess out of all they touched. Kurt Cobain jammed his tunes with more emotional intensity than they could hold, blowing his cool at a time when...

Album Review

From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah

February 2, 1998

Kurt Cobain's guttural holler kicks off this live album named after a river that runs through the late singer and guitarist's hometown of Aberdeen, Wash. Although these concert recordings — taped at various Nirvana shows between December 1989 and...

Album Review


January 21, 1993

The members of Nirvana did not set out to become superstars, didn't expect to move millions of units, had no way to know that an entire generation was equally tired of being lied to — by their parents, by their government and by the music on the...