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4.7 out of 5 stars146
4.7 out of 5 stars
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2013
20 years already? Christ, I feel old.
Like many of my generation, Nirvana were more than just a rock n' roll band. Nevermind, and the band that made it, were the gateway into a whole world of underground music and art that people like me still are still burrowing into two decades later. At the time, In Utero was met with a degree of bafflement, and to some extent derision from the press and the legions of fans the band had accumulated in the preceding two years. The band, and particularly Kurt, had made it clear that they were deeply uncomfortable with the level of fame thrust upon them and this was their attempt to wrest back control from the big machine. Ironically, Kurt's pop instincts were never sharper than on this record; look beyond the raw production, the feral performances and the layers of feedback and you'll find a record with better songs and vastly more emotional weight than it's more famous predecessor. If Kurt had lived, they probably would never have made another record - I mean, where can you go from here?
This record is the best representation of Nirvana's "classic" line up. Dave Grohl, who on Nevermind was actually playing the parts written by former drummer Chad Channing, here shows us what he's made of - driving the songs forward with his Led-Zep-goes-hardcore beats that seem to spur the band on to another level of hugeness. Plenty had happened in Cobain's life in the preceding two years, and he had no shortage of things to write about - marriage, his family, drugs, childbirth, selling out, sociopathic perfumers... It's a testament to how good Nirvana were as a band that despite the dark subject matter and hair-raising performances that what resulted was a record that stands up against any other album from any other decade.
As regards the record itself, I don't have the remastered version, however, I'm going by the assumption that the fabled Albini mix contained here is the same as the one accidentally issued on vinyl a few years back. For those unfamiliar with the back story, In Utero was recorded, mixed and mastered by Steve Albini. At the last minute, the band or the record company (depending on who you believe) chose to have three songs (Heart-Shaped Box, Pennyroyal Tea and All Aplologies) remixed by R.E.M. producer Scott Litt to make them more radio-friendly. Additionally, the whole record was remastered and slightly compressed to make it sound less raw.
Around the mid-2000s, Universal reissued the album on vinyl. For some reason, the mastering engineer cut the record from the Albini tapes instead of the cleaned-up Litt tapes. The differences are subtle, but noticble. For a start, vocals are mixed much lower, and not double-tracked. The bass is thicker and heavier, the drums have more presence and the stereo image is wider. The overall sound of the record is frankly monumental.
Nevermind might be the record on a million "best ever" magazine lists and a million T-shirts, but In Utero stands as the record that cemented Nirvana's place among the greats.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2013
A great collection!! Slipped disc 1 in, remastered version of the original release, very good, sounds all good, impressed so far, decent collection of b-sides and non album tracks on this disc too, including Albini's original versions of HSB and AA, so far so good.
Now disc 2, a brand new mix of the album done by Steve Albini himself, let me tell you, it is AMAZING!!!! After owning this for 1 day, I have listened to this mix multiple times and it has become the definitive version of In Utero for me, things are different on this mix, alternative guitar solo's, alternative lead guitars, the mix itself is raw and edgy but thicker with more body, it has its feet planted in the DC Alternative Music Scene, one problem I always had with In Utero was that it didn't seem know if it was either alternative or mainstream while trying to be both, this mix sorts that out 100%, it's personality has been defined as Alternative Punk and its a glorious thing to listen too.

Now, I didn't give a full 5 stars for one reason, the extra tracks from disc 1 and 2 should be swapped, then it would be perfect.

The Steve Albini 2013 mix is In Utero as it always should have been.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2009
Following on from the massive success of 'Nevermind', Nirvana arguably set out to create something that would be less easily digested - a sort of 'protest' against their new-found popularity. What you get here is a less polished, less radio-friendly effort (clearly the intention with ironic song titles like 'Radio-Friendly Unit Shifter'), but the album is nevertheless stunning. 'Heart-Shaped Box' and 'All Apologies' are desperately sad songs with hauntingly beautiful melodies, whilst tracks like 'Tourettes' and 'Scentless Apprentice' offer nothing but unbridled fury - thundering drums, frantic riffs and blood-curdling vocals.

Although many speculate about the circumstances surrounding Cobain's death, it is difficult to believe when listening to this album that Cobain was not a man nearing his end; a man whose inner demons were getting the better of him. The greatest tradegy was that such incredible songs had to be the product of one man's pain and anguish.

An album to be listened to with a heavy heart, but certainly not one to be missed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2002
Nevermind was an amazing and truely incredible album but it presents you with an enormous problem, how do you follow it?
Pink Floyd followed Dark Side Of The Moon (an equally revolutionary album as nevermind) with a good but not brilliant album, Wish You Were Here. I expected In Utero to be the same. I was totally wrong.
In Utero was an attempt to shed the pop audience that found ...Teen spirit fun but were never true fans. I'm suprised it worked. This album is truely incredible. There are some screamy moments on the album like Scentless Apprentice and Milk It but unlike modern Nu-Metal, they actually work very well and make very listenable to songs.
But the thing about this album is that it really showcases Kurt Cobain's vocal skills like had never been done before.
Heart Shaped Box and Frances Farmer are very good lyrically and vocally they are just phenomenal. The 'Hey, wait, I got a new compliant' in Heart Shaped Box just blue me away as did the 'She'll come back as fire, to burn all the liars,
and leave a blanket of ash on the ground' in Frances Farmer. This album prooves that Kurt Cobain was one of the very best singers of all time.
Then we come to All Apologies which goes beyond perfect. It's a song that gets sadder everytime you hear it and the riff is one of the best i've ever heard. All in all is all we are.
Get Nevermind first to get into nirvana and then buy this, you will be amazed, believe me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2010
This is the final Release of Nirvana and what a mighty fine ending to a awesome band. The songs on this album have more grunge to them and have a more heavy sounding than Nevermind. And has some top tracks which are addictive and enjoyable to listen to as well has some hard and loud Drums,Awesome Bass, And Kurt Riffs make another successful album with very Good Vocals and Lyrics.

Heart-Shape Box
Rape Me
Very Ape
Milk It
Frances Farmer will have are revenge on Seattle.

Is this album better than Nevermind well yes and no. Nevermind has some of Nirvana's best work on it but is very irritating that when Nirvana comes up in a conversation people just think of Nevermind and not the fine works of In Utero. This album is more interesting to listen to that Nevrmind or Bleach or Insecticide and this is a stand out album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2013
Excellent 3LP 180 gram set, direct metal remastered at Abbey Road Studios and pressed by Pallas. Sound quality is superb throughout. My only criticism regards the packaging - the cover/sleeve could have been a couple of millimeters larger because the records are quite tight getting them in and out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2010
im gonna keep this short,"IN UTERO"is easily one of the most POWERFUL albums ive ever had the plesure of listning to
and is my favourite nirvana album,yes better than "NEVERMIND",play this loud if you dont get it play it louder.kurt at his absolute best and rawest.5stars 90's classic
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2001
There couldn't be a more fitting tribute to Nirvana, I believe that in 1993, Nirvana were at there pure best. This album signifies that statement. Serve that Servant kicks off the album, followed by Scentless apprentice. Then for me, the best song on the album. Heart-Shaped Box. This song is probably what started my Passion for Nirvana. The lyrics are very deep in meaning, and the eerie intro and slow drumbeat verses are complimented by a fantastic hi-tempo chorus, this is what Kurt Cobain was all about. Rape me follows, with a riff reminiscent of SLTS, but the thing I like about this song is the Irony of a rapist being raped hisself. Track 6 is Dumb, a ballady song, that fits in so well with the emotion of the album. Very Ape and Milk it take you back to the early Nirvana days, Radio Friendly Unit Shifter is yet another sound track. But the thing that tops this album off is the emotionally charged All Apologies. This is a must for Nirvana Fans
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2014
Although Nevermind is obviously great,it had more of a slick feel to the production which i never dug..In Utero has'nt got slick production & that for me,is just one of the reasons its so fantastic.What a brilliant opening line to the album 'Teenage angst has paid off well but now i'm bored & old' ,Kurt implying thats he's matured some what,He certainly has musically on In Utero. When the Bass hook of Heart Shaped Box kicks in.its just angelic to my ears & his voice on that track,Pennyroyal Tea & All Apologies has never sounded more beautiful.I never get bored of playing this record,i played it this morning for the 3,608th(or something)time & i'l still play it again tomorrow.Kurt was,in my opinion.a true genius musically & emotionally & the way he combined the two was his glory & i bet his spirit is still making music up there in heaven..R.I.P dude..We all miss you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 January 2000
From the very first line of opener 'Serve the Servants' the whole essence of this, Nirvana's third(and sadly last) full studio album, is clear. An obvious rejection of the mainstream popularity afforded by 'Nevermind's' 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' this signalled Kurt Cobain's aim to distance himself from the now widespread fanbase and the media intrusion into his private life which followed the bands meteoric rise to fame. Through the riotous 'Scentless Apprentice' and 'Milk It', Beatles-esque 'Dumb', the beautiful pop sensibilities of 'Heart-Shaped Box' and truly wonderful rock of 'Rape Me' and 'Frances Farmer will have her revenge on Seattle' this album shows pure class from start to finish. Contrary to popular "mainstream" opinion this is easily Nirvana's best album, both in terms of production and in songwriting. An essential purchase.
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