In Steve Albini’s Utero

September 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

The 20th anniversary for Nirvana’s In Utero was released this week featuring a new mixed version of the album by Steve Albini.

Pitchfork gave the reissue a perfect 10 and the review brought up a few old memories.

My favorite Nirvana album is actually Incesticide which is really a b-sides and rarities album that was quietly released. I remember stumbling on it in the CD bin at a store in Shreveport, Louisiana, while visiting my grandmother.

Nevermind is a confusing album for any teenager of the nineties because you want to like it, but all it can remind you of is mall rat goth girls wearing shirts of Kurt Cobain from the MTV Unplugged session and your favorite bros who like Smells Like Teen Spirit and Come As Your Are and then, well, everything off MTV Unplugged.

Bleached was the card you pulled when all your non-music friends starting buying Nevermind.

In Utero was the album I remember waiting for. I lived in Huntsville, AL, where rock radio didn’t exist. We used to get this really fuzzy feed of a station from Birmingham that would play “alternative” music for two hours on a Sunday night which is where I first heard Heart-Shaped Box and the release date was Sept 21st…In Utero was the first album I purchased on a Tuesday, the actual release date.

I’m not a big fan of reissues…they are always filled with fluff and it would appear to be the case with this one. But whenever controversy surrounds an album’s recording process, or more specifically, Steve Albini, things appear that make it interesting to revisit:

Steve Albini’s four page letter to Nirvana

Steve Albini podcast with Vish Khanna

Josh Modell at A.V. Club has my favorite review of the reissue so far.

In Utero is the album all my friends didn’t like, which is why I gravitated towards it so much. My favorite songs are the most abrasive ones, Scentless Apprentice, Very Ape, Milk It, Radio Friendly Unit Shifter and Tourette’s.

All Apologies benefits the most from the new mix by Albini. It gives the song those Shellac sounding drums it deserves. Unfortunately modern rock radio has managed to water down the song by always playing the Unplugged version.

After listening to the new Albini mixes I turned on At Action Park by Shellac (which is probably exactly what Nirvana would have wanted):

Stream the new 2013 mixes only on this playlist:


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