In Utero 20th Anniversary Edition
By Matt Ashworth
Even if you celebrate the release of Nirvana’s classic 1993 album In Utero by skipping all the songs that were played on the radio and TV, it still rules.
“Serve the Servants” is sublime. “Scentless Apprentice” demolishes. “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle” is full of pounding awesomeness. And “Very Ape,” “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” and “Tourrette’s” are three of my favorite tracks in the band’s catalogue. Each one obliterates everything in its a path and sounds far too raw and aggressive for mainstream America.
I suppose the strength of these In Utero album cuts – the ones that did not achieve crossover success – points to some sort of rare ability Nirvana had too simultaneously obliterate and woo, and ultimately what made them so popular, but I still suggest editing out “Heart Shaped Box,” “Rape Me,” “Dumb,” and “Pennyroyal Tea” from your Spotify play list and just catching these songs the next time you tune in to your local FM station with an “alternative rock” format.
As a final note, there’s excellent news for those of you good Samaritans who still buy music in it’s physical form. The package includes a remastered version of the original mix, B-sides, outtakes, a bunch of early demos, and some amusing yet surprisingly heart-felt liner notes by comedian/tour mate Bobcat Goldthwait. – (10/10)
P.S. Remember when Nirvana was on #SNL with host Charles Barkley and played “Rape Me?” That was pretty cool.