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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection is Rare, In Utero is Bliss
When 'Nevermind' hit the charts in 1991, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was already the anthem to a lost generation as many would say. The greatest thing about 'Nevermind' was that it brought the band onto the main stage and allowed the inevitable, 'In Utero.'
Like Hollywood sequels, the good are rare. In this case, 'In Utero' takes good and throws it out of the ballpark...
Published on July 19 2004 by Michael Roffman

3.0 out of 5 stars Not so bad
While ther's stuff on here I just hate, Tourettes, all appollogies, Dumb, Heart-shaped box , serve the servants give it something.
Published on Nov. 23 2003

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection is Rare, In Utero is Bliss, July 19 2004
Michael Roffman "pinball wizard" (Haddonfield, Illinois) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Utero (Audio CD)
When 'Nevermind' hit the charts in 1991, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was already the anthem to a lost generation as many would say. The greatest thing about 'Nevermind' was that it brought the band onto the main stage and allowed the inevitable, 'In Utero.'
Like Hollywood sequels, the good are rare. In this case, 'In Utero' takes good and throws it out of the ballpark. It's everything the first album was and wasn't, all at the same time. In this case, you have the action figure packed riffs that hook you and entice each listener to each song. Don't tell me 'Heart Shaped Box' doesn't send volts down your spine! Needless to say, lyrically, the album sheds away from changing youth, to just talking about it. There are several kep points in the album, that always amaze me.
'Serve the Servants', arguably one of their greatests songs, makes a joke upon themselves and the culture following. It's extraordinary to find one song that culminates everything the band is. From the raw sound, to the campy yet intricate lyrics of Cobain, and to the mood, we come to view Nirvana more than a band, but as a social phenomenon.
'All Apologies' and 'Pennyroyal Tea', both quiet and timid in nature, but far from peaceful. It's this confusing, albeit tricky choice of songwriting that has everyone go, 'Oh...' and then finally realize the meaning leaving them with, 'Oh!' Listen to the tracks and then really listen to them! See the images you see and the ones meant to be seen. It's a trip.
'Rape Me' and 'Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle' are a darker 'Date Rape' and a historic horror fest, respectively. On one hand we see the terrors we read about and on the other, we see a story we never really knew. It's bold and it's sound takes on different dimensions, something bands use a lot today. The low verse, heavy distortion choruses...very formulaic, and surprisingly, very original then.
The album surprises me to this day, even after ten years or so have passed. Besides maybe 'Unplugged', this is the real way to see Nirvana as honest as they were meant to be. If you catch even a glimpse of it, then you're already hooked. If you even like rock, art, or anything that makes, then buy this. I shouldn't even be suggesting this, this is an imperative buy.
It's so perfect, but it's not...and that's what makes it what it is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nirvana's Magnum Opus, June 27 2004
This review is from: In Utero (Audio CD)
What makes this album so great is the band's ability to convey emotion behind simple melodies and what some might call shoddy guitar work. Despite the fact that Kurt can't play like Jimi Hendrix his lyrical abilities are second only to Lennon/McCartney and Grohl can bash a drum as well as Jon Bonham with just as much fury. Krist Novoselic's bass is competent and ties the package together nicely and shows the bands parts adding much more to the whole.
This isn't watered down like Nevermind so newer fans might not take to the harsh sound and Cobain's gruff, growling vocals. The album altogether deals with disillusionment moving further away from the angst of earlier works. Disillusionment with family, disillusionment with fans and critics, and disillusionment with life. This is the final work of a man who was at the end of his rope and his back to the wall.
People new to Nirvana should check out Nevermind, for those of you who want an album's worth of the disenfranchised voice of a generation and the best piece of work of the 90's this is for you.
R.I.P Kurt Cobain
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5.0 out of 5 stars Their second best album!, June 20 2004
P. Woods (England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Utero (Audio CD)
It is a much harsher album compared to the last two albums. This one does contain the better lyrics in it, but I just think "Nevermind" is slightly better. The songs are:
Serve the servents: This is a good opener. There are some good verses, but a not-so-good chorus. 4/5
Scentless apprentice: Weird lyrics. It's one of the heavier tracks on the album. Massive shouting in it. 4/5
Heart-shaped box: Probably the best track on the album. Great lyrics and an unbeatable chorus. 5/5
Rape me: Another good track. The intro sounds a bit like the intro to "Smells like teen spirit". You think this is goanna be a soft song, but it gets louder. 5/5
Frances farmer will have her revenge on Seattle: This is a very catchy song. It's just a bit too long. 4.5/5
Dumb: Very relaxing. 5/5
Very ape: Quite a fast-paces song, but it can get a bit boring, and it's too short (1:55). 3.5/5
Milk it: This a favourite. A very underrated song. The verses can be quite creepy, but I love the shouting in the middle. 5/5
Pennyroyal tea: This is another good track. I think this chorus is very catchy. 5/5
Radio friendly unit shifter: The chorus is ok, but the rest of it isn't that good. 3/5
Tourettes: Very short and very fast. It can be quite hard to sing. Contains really long vocal shouts. 4/5
All apologies: This is quite good when it starts off, but it does get worse. It's another relaxing track. 4/5
Gallons of rubbing alcahol through a strip (extra track): Very silent on the first verse, but the singing gets louder. This song is very long (7:33). Once this song reaches the end it gets slightly better, but it's still quite a boring song. 2/5
So, that's basically Nirvana's last album, and probably their best acomplished. I just think "Nevermind" is a tiny bit better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nirvana's best, June 15 2004
Lauren (Duluth, GA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Utero (Audio CD)
In 1991, "Nevermind" became a huge commercial success, throwing Nirvana and especially Kurt Cobain into the international spotlight, something he dreaded and hated upon its occurrence. Two years later, "In Utero" was released, and it was almost like Kurt's attempt to whittle their audience down -- much like Pearl Jam tried to do with "Vs." and "Vitalogy" -- except Pearl Jam got to make more records after those. Nirvana, as is common knowledge, did not, and with that knowledge comes a certain aura of significance which surrounds the album. It is viewed by many as Kurt Cobain's suicide note and, whether or not that's true, it's such a hardcore but beautiful and eloquent album that we *want* to view it that way, as something extraordinarily significant.
Whether or not it's significant in regards to the rest of Cobain's life, it is most definitely significant in purely musical terms. The lyrics are some of the most haunting and twisted (but in a good way) that have ever been written -- "I miss the comfort in being sad," "Look on the bright side is suicide, lost eyesight I'm on your side, angel left wing, right wing, broken wing, lack of iron and/or sleeping," and of course, "All in all is all we are." Cobain also finds the most inventive way to say "I love you" that I've ever heard -- "I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black." Wow.
Musically, the album is all over the place, from soft songs such as "Dumb" and "All Apologies," to the scream-fest that is "Scentless Apprentice." In between are just some solid rock songs propelled by Dave Grohl's superior drumming, such as "Pennyroyal Tea," "Rape Me," and "Heart-Shaped Box." It's not for sensitive eardrums, but it's probably not going to give you a headache.
"In Utero" is undoubtedly Nirvana's best offering -- the sound is rawer, the lyrics are gut-wrenching, and the music just makes you want to scream along (especially at the part where he screams "Doll steak! Test meat!" in "Milk It"). Plus, there's just that aura that surrounds it. It's my all-time favorite album, and I highly recommend it for anyone who has emotions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Saint Cobain, June 2 2004
This review is from: In Utero (Audio CD)
Anyone who gives this amazing cd less than 5 stars is an insult. Not just to rock, but to music in general. Kurt Cobain is an amazing guitarist/songwriter that should be given more than the credit that is given to him in some of the other reviews. You can see some of his amazing song writing in songs like "Heart Shaped Box". With lyrics like, "I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black." And lyrics like, " ...Man eating orchids...." make the songs on this cd more than just your average rock songs. These songs are thought - provoking masterpieces that require more than just one listen to fully understand.
Next is the vocals on this cd. By listening to songs such as "Rape Me" you can hear the softness in Kurt's voice, drawing you in like a "magnet tar pit" (as said in "Heart Shaped Box"). But by listening to songs like "Scentless Apprentice" you can hear the buildup of Kurt's voice into an unstable shriek, "STAY AWAY!!!".
Overall, this is an amazing cd that should be given more credit. Thank you Saint Cobain.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nirvana/In Utero, April 24 2004
Chris "" (Christchurch, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Utero (Audio CD)
Nirvanas last album , was no surprise. A reserved classic. But It is so much more darker and must I say a little scarier than "Nevermind", nevertheless, the lyrics are so well done and the vocals are shocking and painful (in a good way!), I swear "Pennyroyal Tea" is on "Nevermind"!!!. Also There is a bonus track, which is by far the scariest so far, hearing him laugh and talking randomly like "You should be the one responsible for" scrwaming then going in to a low talk. Its pretty freaky!. "Heart shaped-box" is amazing!. "Frances farmer will have her revenge on seattle" rocks too, and the over 1 min 20 song "Tourettes" is amazing, just really good and the little thing he sez at the start of it gets me everytime too, "Moderate rock"" LOL
Overall "In Utero" is a much darker scarier album. With painful lyrics and I have just found out the last track which is uncredited here or not releasedin the U.S is 7.30 long!.
So yes. A very painful album, and very scary to think this was months before he did what he did.
In Utero = Classicly Dark
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Swansong To A Legend's Brief Blaze In The Spotlight, April 23 2004
Busy Body (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Utero (Audio CD)
Almost three weeks ago, it was ten years since the tragic death of Kurt Cobain. As a dedication, I'm here to write a review of "In Utero," Nirvana's greatest single musical accomplishment in their short lived career as the world's biggest and best rock band on the planet. In those ten years since Cobain committed suicide, the music scene is forever changing and Kurt's music is still as powerful and widely-received as it was in the early 1990's. Nirvana blazed fiercely as the most revolutionary and influential rock act since the Beatles, and before they knew what hit them, the band was over forever on April 5th 1994. The world came to realise this three days later.
"Nevermind" has made Nirvana the most famous rock band in the world. It was their second album and sold a staggering 18 million copies worldwide. Kurt was tired of the adulation and praise that he received in truckloads, and decided to go back into the studio in 1993 and make an album that would scare off all the cling-ons. Originally titled "I Hate Myself And I Want To Die," the album was released in September 1993 and was called In Utero. It topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, and shifted some 6 million copies in America. Critics adored it and I have to agree, this is one of the finest albums of all time.
"Serve The Servants" opens the album in grand style with a loud and abrasive beat with a wonderful melody. The song's most striking line is, "I tried hard to have a father, but instead I had a dad." This deep-cutting line refers to Kurt's father who deserted him when he was a child. "Scentless Apprentice" builds the album's aggression up even more, in one of the hardest rocking anthems the band ever recorded. This was one of the first times the band all shared writing kudos on a song instead of just Kurt. However, Kurt completely steals the song with his tortured yelp, "Go away!" throughout the chorus. The disturbing and manic verses refer to a book that Kurt read on a murdering perfume psycho.
The album's lead single, "Heart-Shaped Box," is up next and easily towers as one of the greatest rock songs ever recorded. The production and vocals are on to top form here, complete with a visually stunning video (based on Kurt's dreams, apparently) and some genius lyrics such as, "Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back." Perhaps the album's most controversial song, "Rape Me," follows. This is easily one of the best songs on the album in which Kurt sings of rape as a metaphor for his emotional torture. The violence contained within the song makes it a song you simply cannot ignore.
"Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle" is a fantastic song with a subdued intro that just rages out into a massive and loud assault on the ears. The lyrics, the arrangement, the vocals and the instruments are all superb - hell, even the title of the song is genius. "Dumb" is the first truly tranquil song on the album. There are no harsh vocals or lyrics here, everything is laid-back, but underneath lies disturbing images which can be seen through the lyrics, "My heart is broke, but I have some glue. Help me inhale, and mend it with you." The addition of the cello also makes this one of the most beautiful songs you are ever likely to hear, even if it was three years old at the time of this album's release.
"Very Ape" is perhaps the worst song on the album, but it doesn't even last two minutes so it doesn't really matter. It's still a good composition, however, but serves as more of an interlude. "Milk It" is one of the best songs on the album and has some amazing lyrics. I love the way Kurt screams his chorus, "Doll steak! Test meat!" which is then followed by "Look on the bright side is suicide. Lost eyesight I'm on your side. Angel left wing, right wing, broken wing. Lack of iron and/or sleeping." Here so much can be deciphered about Kurt's tumultuous state of mind at the time of writing and recording.
"Pennyroyal Tea" is an extremely heartbreaking song, not so much for the lyrical content, but in the way Kurt almost cries his chorus with so much emotion and the instrumental halfway through. A fantastic song, and an utter classic. "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" is one of my favourite songs on the album, despite what others may think. I love the way it starts off, so loud and shocking, before breaking out with a twisted and head-banging beat that only gets better as the song continues. Kurt's vocals are so full of hate towards himself and the way he keep questioning "What is wrong with me?" is just almost unlistenable.
"Tourette's" is the funniest track on the album. The title of the song is a condition which causes people to suddenly blurt out any noise or cuss-word that comes to mind, and suddenly we have Kurt just screaming and babbling a load of nonsense, but of course, in the best way possible. And then the album finally closes with "All Apologies." One of Nirvana's finest ever songs, it represents a man so hard on himself it makes almost unbearable listening.
So it's 10 years since the death of one of rock's biggest icons. Kurt Cobain became a legend upon his death, and why shouldn't he? He was a true genius who didn't realise his full potential before it was too late. Maybe we didn't realise his full potential. Who knows what he'd have gone on to do if he hadn't have been so stupid to commit suicide? Nevermind was awesome, this is ever better. Buy it now to realise just why. R.I.P. Kurt Cobain. 20th February 1967 - 5 April 1994.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Their final album is one of their best, April 1 2004
This review is from: In Utero (Audio CD)
In Utero (1993.) Nirvana's third and final album.
Although they had only been releasing studio albums since 1989, by the time 1993 rolled around, Nirvana had made a name for themselves. They had achieved worldwide fame in a relatively short period of time - something some artists strive to achieve for many years and often don't succeed. Fortunately, Nirvana never had to worry about that. In 1993 the band released its third and final album, In Utero. Read on for my review.
Rather obviously, this album doesn't get nearly as much credit as its predecessor, the wildly-popular Nevermind. That's a real shame, because this album is equally good. Like Nevermind before it, this album spawned some huge hits for the band. There's the melodic alternative rocker Heart-Shaped Box, which is one of the band's greatest recordings of all time. In my opinion this song is every bit as good as, say, Smells Like Teen Spirit. And then, of course, we have the hard and heavy rocker Rape Me. Contrary to popular belief and the first impressions of many, this is an anti-rape song. And it's one of the finest of its kind. Dumb is another track that achieved some pretty high popularity, and why not? It's gloomy grunge at its very best! The band closes out the album with the track that would go on to be the most popular one from the album, All Apologies. This is an interesting track in that it fuses elements of pop and grunge - and the end result is nothing short of excellent. The minor hit Pennyroyal Tea can also be found on this album. It's a shame this didn't go on to become one of the band's bigger hits, because it's actually one of the finest songs they ever recorded. Many listeners claim that the lyrics to this song are a premonition to Kurt Cobain's 1994 suicide - listen for yourself and see if you agree. And then, of course, we have the underrated masterpieces of the album. Serve The Servants is Cobain's ode to his fans, and it's a rather excellent one. Another underrated masterpiece present here is Tourette's. Why didn't it become a bigger hit? And, of course, there's Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle (that's the longest title ever given to a Nirvana song.) All in all, this stands as one of the band's finest efforts.
The import version of the album features a bonus track, but as another reviewer stated, this track is a pretty disappointing one. If you want it, DO NOT shell out extra cash to get an import version of the album. Instead, either download it or get it on a rarities bootleg.
It's a real shame this album never got the same kind of credit that 1991's Nevermind did, because this album is every bit as good, even if it was never nearly as popular. It's a shame Kurt Cobain would die just a year after the album was released, because this album showed that they were capable of doing so much. If you like the band, this is a highly recommended album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome CD, one of the best rock CDs of all time, March 23 2004
This review is from: In Utero (Audio CD)
Nirvana may not have been the first people to start grunge music, in fact they may have heard Soundgarden or Pearl Jam and then were inspired to make that kind of music OR Nirvana could have been the makers of Grunge music.. it doesnt matter either way, Nirvana was the band that did it the best, Nirvana was the band with the most talent. I personally think that Nirvana is better and alot harder than Pearl Jam even though Peral Jam is still a great band. In Utero is Kurts last goodbye to the world and each song has so much emotion and energy in it. The lyrics on each track are genius and are extremely hard to understand, in fact we may interpret them differently then the way Kurt Cobain intended us to, but he has some incredible lines on this CD. This is Nirvana's best work, better than Nevermind(also a great CD) but this is my opinion. The guitar is alot more distorted on this album then any of the other Nirvana albums and it isnt polished the way Nevermind was.Nirvana was a great band with Dave Grohl pounding the drums, Krist Novelstic playing an awesome bass, and Kurt Cobain with his genious lyric writing ability and tremendous singing ability. Let me go through all the great tracks on this album so you can get an idea of how good it was.
1. Serve the Servants 85%
A great opening song to the CD, talking about teen angst and not having someone there when you need him, it has a good guitar riff and the verses are very catchy, the chorus lacks a little bit though.
2. Scentless Apprentice 75%
Kurt really screeches on this one, every band member had a part in writing this song, my least favorite on the CD even though its pretty good, one of the harder tracks.
3. Heart-Shaped Box 100%
Wow. This song is amazing and has so much depth, the lyrics are so in depth that people actually analyze this songs lyrics and the music video Kurt made for it to find the true meaning. The chorus is amazing and has a feel of rebellion. Known to be one of the greatest if not the greatest Nirvana song of all time. My personal 2nd favorite Nirvana song of all time, with Smells Like Teen Spirit at Number 1. "Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back"...what a great line.
4. Rape Me 95%
Another amazing song with fantastic lyrics. The song is an anti-rape song where Kurt is a girl being raped saying "Rape Me" because he'll get it a lot worse after hes done "you'll always stink and burn." Alot of peoples favorite Nirvana song as well. The guitar riff is very similar to "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
5. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle 95%
I got really hooked on this song, its very catchy and has a good guitar riff. This songs about Frances Farmer who was an actress who then went insane and ws put into an insane asylum. The song is great with lines like "I miss the comfort in being sad", one of the best lines Kurt ever wrote.
6. Dumb 85%
One of the catchiest on the album, not as hard as the other tracks. About being in love and feeling Dumb. The verses sound alot like those of "On A Plain."
7. Very Ape 80%
Good guitar, good drums, everything a good rock song needs. Not one of my favorites but still good.
8. Milk It 100%
This song is truly amazing. It is very dark, strange, and distorted. I didn't like it at first now I love it. One of the scariest guitar riffs ive ever heard. This song will make you feel very down. This is Kurt's suicide note to the world, the chorus goes "look on the bright side is suicide."
9. Pennyroyal Tea 85%
Made back before Nevermind and sounds like a Nevermind song. The song is catchy and mellow. The chorus is good but the verses are lacking.
10. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter 85%
This song is pretty good, this one part in the song is awesome and I wish that would have been the chorus, the "hate your friends save your enemies" part. The song is about finding your place and knowings your surroundings in life.
11. Tourettes 90%
This song is the hardest and craziest on the album, when you first hear it you wonder how its even a song because you can hardly understand what hes saying. But for some odd reason its really addictive and great to listen to if your angry.
12. All Apologies 80%
Everyone loves this song but for some reason I havn't been able to get hooked on it. The lyrics are great but I just dont think the song music-wise is that good. Good quote at the end " All in all is all we are."
If your a Nirvana fan and you dont like the distorted, dark sound of this album then I understand because at first I didnt like this album, try giving it a few listens and you will really appreciate this albums glory.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Album They Had To Make, March 9 2004
D. C. Bobb "D.C." (Carlisle, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Utero (Audio CD)
Kurt hires legendary noise maker Steve Albini to produce the follow up to 'Nevermind' and Geffen get worried. So much so, several songs were ultimately re-mixed by the 'Nevermind' production team, much to the disgust of Steve Albini himself. Going into the sessions for this album, it seems Kurt wanted a much rawer, more spontaneous sound that had appeared on 'Nevermind', but that following recording, with everyone telling him the album was 'un-commercial', he got cold feet or something. Anyway, the re-mixed songs aren't glaringly out of place or anything, in fact, it's not obvious which one's they even are, they flow into the course of the album very well. First, and rather underwhelming single 'Heart Shaped Box' was one of the re-mixed songs. It hardly matters, the opening 'Serve The Servants' is stupendous and 'Scentless Apprentice' very clearly bearing the influence of Steve Albini in the bass and drum sound. Kurt screams and screams through the song, and it's a thrill when he does, a fantastic performance. 'Rape Me' rather mischievously opens with the 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' riff, but when Kurt starts singing, your jaw drops open. 'Rape Me'? This is provocative stuff, it's also a truly fantastic song with another impassioned vocal performance. Another great song arrives with 'Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle' and things are looking particularly great for this 'In Utero' album, 'Heart Shaped Box' and the 'Polly' re-tread 'Dumb' included.
The second side of the album opens with the kind of primitive riffing punk thrash that would have sat quite easily on 'Bleach'. 'Very Ape' is pretty good though, 'Milk It' rather strange but Kurt screams very well. Nobody could scream quite like Kurt Cobain, another Pixies influence brought into Nirvana, obviously. 'Pennyroyal Tea' has lyrics that sound like they were made up in the studio just prior to recording, and the whole song sounds strained and like it's about to collapse, but not in an enjoyable way. This is very difficult listening. 'Radio Friendly Unit Shifter' isn't so great either, although the Punk thrash of 'Tourette's' is an exhilarating, brilliant ride. 'All Apologies' closes the album, closes it well. This was one of the songs re-mixed, but it's a fabulous song in any case, another wonderful vocal performance. 'In Utero' survived an initial media back-lash to become recognized as another important and more importantly, great, album by the group. For me, there are a couple of songs here that probably shouldn't have been, that prevent this quite reaching the heights of 'Nevermind'. This is still a damn fine album, though.
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In Utero
In Utero by Nirvana (Audio CD - 1993)
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