Subtly opening with a single guitar strumming, the frontman for Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, exposes his sensitivity. The soft lyrics seem to echo from a dream. A hazey world near the end of Cobain's demise. The video even shows the band in a bizarrely odd fantasy landscape. Twisted trees, and an old man on a cross wearing Santa's cap, a little girl in a white klu klux clan-like outfit skipping through the poppy fields. An obese woman dressed in an anatomical skin-tight outfit, adorned in feathery wings. At the end Cobain and company can be seen at the side of the old man's death bed. Patiently waiting for him to pass on. The energy here seems unrestful, eager, and aggravated.
All this imagery is what you get with the song Heart-Shaped Box. Flagrantly good lyrics entrance you, for example:
"Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet,"
"Cut myself on Angel's hair and baby's breath."
"Broken hymen of your highness, I'm left black."
"Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back."
This is just too good. The song reverbrates between melancholy, and fierce aggression, classic Nirvana style, but with the rough guitar flavoring that In Utero has to offer. In my opinion, this is the best that Nirvana has to offer. It encapsulates Cobain's emotion, his moody ups & downs, and Nirvana's awesome artistry. Dave Grohl excellently balances the song with his gentle drumming, and then his ear pounding resonation for the decidely aggressive parts. Krist Novoselic also submits what Cobain calls (and I paraphrase), "a really good bass line".
The second song on this disc, "Milk It", was often quoted by Cobain to be the future sound of Nirvana. With a more jaded sound, very rough, tired, and abbrasive... this song goes a long way to represent the entire album and Cobain's mood during those times. The whole song teeters on topics of mortality and conditions of the human body with lyrics like "Obituary birthday, you're scent is still here, in my place of recovery."
A little jewel awaits you on the final track of this single. Dave Grohl usurps Cobain, a hint of the future at that time. Grohl takes to the guitar and microphone, revealing one of his laundry room studio creations. "Marigold" is his mellow and sleepy masterpiece. The song seems inspired by the present Cobain, and bellows forth likeness to songs of Nirvana like "Dumb" or "Polly", but with a more softer inclination.
This is without a doubt the best single from In Utero. Heart-Shaped Box is a masterpiece to be rivaled with.