Nirvana (1991)

A foregone conclusion. This record’s importance is both overlooked and overrated. It really didn’t cover much sonically new territory, as some assert; it revolutionized the industry more than its creative field. But even so, its artistic presentation, influence, and cultural notoriety are still heavily affecting music today. Nevermind showed that rock was raw, real, and back to its roots once more, without betraying the accomplished hooks and production of the 1980s. In fact, the true breakthrough of grunge music (the offspring of metal and punk, which was perfected on this LP) may have been that it wasn’t really extreme at all – it expertly straddled the border between the underground and mainstream, and got the two to meet for the first time in ages. Suddenly, brainless louts were into scrappy, obscure bands, and insufferable hipsters liked the country’s most popular groups. Such a revolution had plenty of ill consequences down the road, but in the case of Nirvana, it was all good. Such a thing would rarely, if ever, happen again.

Key track: “Breed”

See also: Bleach – Nirvana (1989), Incesticide – Nirvana (1992), In Utero – Nirvana (1993)

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