Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Adorned with probably one of the most iconic album covers of all time, Nirvana’s Nevermind is one of the most quintessential grunge albums ever produced. Released in 1991, just three years before the death of lead singer Kurt Cobain, the group found unanticipated mainstream success (certified Diamond) due to the success of lead single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that currently possesses over 700 million streams on Spotify.
Of course, what would be grunge music without the quintessential angst of raspy vocals and the wall of guitars present in each track. That being said, those things are certainly prevalent in Nevermind; however, this was also one of the first albums that Cobain started experimenting with combining the typical grunge sound with melodic lines which is perhaps one of the things that makes Nevermind so unique to 90s grunge.
The distortion-soaked guitar and new presence of uniquely Nirvana melodic lines in famous tracks like “In Bloom” and “Come As You Are” are what set the album apart to give it that truly Nirvana sound. Not to mention Cobain’s mostly nonsensical lyrics that upon further observation often mean something much deeper than what listeners would expect.
Songs like “Lithium” and lyrics like, “I’m so happy, ’cause today I’ve found my friends / They’re in my head / I’m so ugly, that’s okay, ’cause so are you / We’ve broke our mirrors / Sunday morning, is every day for all I care / And I’m not scared / Light my candles, in a daze, ’cause I’ve found God” not only present the new uses of melody as Cobain harmonizes with a wall of guitars and bass but also illustrate the nonsensical lyrics at first listen. In actuality, the lyrics represent manic depression and the flips between high and low.
The combination of all things grunge with the addition of Nirvana’s melodic lines and nonsensical but also incredibly deep lyrics are exactly what makes Nevermind such a principal album not only upon its release in 1991 but even in contemporary music. Nevermind makes for the perfect album for those just getting into the grunge genre or for those that just want to put a classic record on.