41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
GREAT!, 1 Mar. 2003
I had been debating for a while how many stars I should give this. Being one of my favourite and possibly the greatest band of all time, it should get five stars no matter, right? It has all of Nirvana's hits, the inclusion of the long awaited, previously unreleased track 'You Know You're Right', and has a fantastic alternative version of 'Been A Son'. But to call this a greatest hits album would be wrong. I mean, where's 'Love Buzz', 'Oh, The Guilt', and the original 'All Apologies'? And that is why I feel I have to give this four stars.
But don't get me wrong, this is a superb album. I felt let down at first when I heard about this new release, as I had been hoping for many more previously unreleased tracks, and being the big Nirvana fan that I am, I already have most of the songs included. But on first listen I was very pleasantly surprised.
To start the album off is the long awaited 'You Know You're Right'. It was to be the final song Nirvana ever made. It has been floating around the net for a while now, but the sound quality really lets it down when compared to the album version. It's a highly powerful song, and quite a different offering from the band, which needs to be listened to in its best form for greatest effect.
The classic 'About A Girl' has been given the full 're-master' treatment. It sounds so different to the original, I thought it was an alternative version at first! Compare this to the 'Bleach' version and you'll hear the difference.
The alternative version of 'Been A Son' is in my opinion the best version. Compared to the track on 'Incesticide' it has a more relaxed and (strangely) up beat feel about it. There's less energy in Kurts voice, but even at a lower pitch he still sounds great, and the song takes on a whole different feel.
'Sliver' is 2 minutes and 15 seconds of pure, raw energy. Yes, it has been polished up and provided with a slightly more crisp and clear sound, but it's re-mastering hasn't detracted from its qualities.
This album wouldn't be complete without 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. So what can I say about it that hasn't already been said before? It made Nirvana a phenomenon, and brought alternative music to the mainstream. If you haven't heard it, where have you been?? But there were better tracks that followed that so many seemed to miss. 'Come As You Are' for instance. The ultimate 'grunge' (can I say that word?) song, and the second highlight on the incredible 'Nevermind' album. The third highlight goes to 'Lithium'. I've always felt this song was written for me. The build up to the raging chorus and all those 'yeahs' is superb. And after all these years its still enough to make a whole disfuntional generation jump, and scream out, 'Yeah!'. And last but not least 'In Bloom'. It would have been nice to see the original version from 1990 on this album, but this later version sounds just as good, and is the most recognised of the two.
'Heart-Shapped Box' leads off the 'In Utero' section of the album, and what an amazing song it is. It features some of Cobains best and somewhat darkest lyrics, and I think signalled a new direction for Nirvana's music.
Scott Litt's mix of 'Pennyroyal Tea' features next, and it sounds incredible! Kurts voice screams out in agony, but has never sounded so good. It would have been Nirvana's last single, had it been released, and could only be found on the U.S. release of 'In Utero' until now.
At first I was a bit surprised to see 'Rape Me' on this album, but then I forget how much of an anthem it became. Is it an anti-rape song as Kurt once said in an interview or, is it really a cry for help from the man himself? Whatever it may mean, this simple song came straight from the heart of Kurt Cobain.
'Dumb' in a word is beautiful, and is one of my favourite Nirvana Songs. It's the only studio accoustic song on the album, which begs the question, where is 'Polly'?
The next three songs, 'All Apologies', 'The Man Who Sold The World', and 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night', are from Nirvana's amazing live Unplugged performance for MTV. Each show a completely different side and sound to Nirvana's music. Would they have taken a more accoustic route in the future? Sadly, we will never know.