“Nevermind” by Nirvana

Nirvana needs no introduction for their legacy and music left behind, everyone should know about them somewhat. That shirt with the squiggly smiley face, yeah that one, that’s their logo.

We are going to take a look at the album that changed radio. “Nevermind,” paved the way for grunge and alternative rock into mainstream radio in the ‘90s.

You would have to be living underneath a rock to have never heard the opening song, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The music video alone has over 1.6 billion streams as of right now with almost 5 million comments. This would be one of the infamous songs to iconify the Seattle sound.

Graphic by Tiera Rivers

Next is “In Bloom,” a song that really was made to make fun of fake fans who didn’t read into the meaning of their music and just liked them because they were gaining popularity. The following tune is “Come As You Are” with one of their most famous riffs and what became a darker tone of fortune telling of lead vocalist Kurt Cobain’s death.

“Breed” packs some serious drumming, and it’s rumored to be focused on Kurt’s ex-girlfriend Tobi Vail. There are many ways to read into this song as it talks about being against society or just not conforming to the norms, but I see it as a guy having some doubts but also really wanting to stay with his girl. Next up is “Lithium” which is named after the drug some people use to deal with depression. It’s mainly focused on depression and trying to hold out through the ups and downs and misfortune life may throw at us.

Then comes “Polly,” a dark song based off an actual court case from Washington state about a girl who was kidnapped, raped, and tortured until she escaped. Cobain was horrified and based the song on how the rapist was released early in 1980 for rape charges and went on to allegedly rape another girl dubbed “Polly” in 1987.

Switching the flow back into a more intense song is “Territorial Pissings.” This is repetitive, but it also conveys the feeling of everyone being against you or the whole “us against the world” feel. I have heard people say the song is about Native Americans. Personally, I don’t really see the connection, but Cobain usually had some ambiguity in his lyrics to make them more applicable to everyone who listens.

The album features the underrated song, “Drain You,” which is overlooked too often for how good it is and is rumored to have been one of Cobain’s favorite songs he made. After that is “Lounge Act,” named for the bass line after bassist Kirst Novoselic and Cobain made jokes about how it sounded like lounge music.

No album is perfect, and each has its shortcomings. This album’s shortcoming is “Stay Away” because it does not live up to the other songs on the album and is stale in comparison. This song does not capture that Nirvana feeling and feels as if it was written by someone else.

“Nevermind” picks back up with “On A Plain,” a bop that strangely is a song about writing songs.

To finish off the album on a high note, we have “Something In The Way,” a darker, slower song with a more acoustic tone to it that really hammers the emotion in. I always felt this song was slept on and finally was greatly utilized in the 2022 film, “The Batman,” where it gained traction and popularity. It is a soft melancholic way to dial out a great album.

Overall, “Nevermind” is a solid album, and almost every song is definitely worth a listen. For my top picks, I won’t choose the ones everybody knows. That would be too easy. My top picks are “Drain You,” “Polly,” Territorial Pissings” and “Lounge Act.”