I figured an In Utero, ranked piece would be the way to go when lionizing Nirvana‘s third and final studio album.
Because let’s face it: the album is 30 years old now. Everything of substance that can be said or has been written about the album has been said and written. And there’s Wikipedia. Could I find a bunch of worthwhile In Utero reviews and thinkpieces and summarize them in honor of the album’s anniversary? I could. But that would take time and research and a whole lot of work. And I’m lazy.
I can share my own perspective on the album, though. And if you’re a Gen-Xer of a certain age like I am, you probably have a similar history with this one. In Utero was released worldwide on multiple formats on September 21, 1993. I was a junior in high school, fully immersed in all things Seattle, grunge, and alternative rock. I was a huge fan of Nirvana and their contemporaries. I wore the flannel.
To say this album was “highly anticipated” would be an understatement. This was the biggest rock band in the world following up their breakthrough album that changed the rock world. Sure, we got Incesticide in ’92, but that wasn’t a proper album. This one was. A new batch of new, Cobain-written songs, produced by the legendary Steve Albini. This was the release of ’93, which is saying something in a stacked year for rock.
All the Songs on Nirvana’s In Utero, Ranked
I bought it the day it dropped, on cassette tape. And the album eventually muscled Siamese Dream out of my Sony Walkman to become my soundtrack to the fall of ’93. The “Heart Shaped Box” music video was omnipresent on MTV. My and my fellow grunge disciples picked apart the lyrics and imagery. Which I guess is what I’m about to do below, in a way.