By Julian De Ocampo ’13
“Oh well, whatever, never mind” is hardly the anthemic rallying cry that most people search for, but for children of the 90s, it was the perfect sentiment to match the indifferent shrugs of slackers across the alternative nation.
And when emitted from the raspy, garbled voice of one such as Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, it sounded downright exciting in 1991.
I’m speaking all from secondhand knowledge, of course. I was born in 1994 (the year Cobain died) and pretty much all my knowledge comes from snippets of reflections posted on music blogs and nostalgic reviewers on the internet.
But I really can see how an album like Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, could impact on such a weighty level to the American 90s.
Aside from the out-of-left-field, generation-defining watershed that is “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Nevermind” boasts an impressively aggressive array of tunes that each spoke to the world in a different way.
“In Bloom,” “Come As You Are” and “Lithium” have each, in their own respect, grown to line radio stations in the way that conveys the idea of a “classic” like few other artists of their day have achieved.
Even now, in 2011, it feels awkward to read the lyrics from this classic album. I doubt Cobain intended for lyrics like “I don’t care what you think / unless it is about me” to be picked over and mulled by the general populace.
But in my humble opinion, it’s the non-sequitur and oddities peppering the lyrics that make this album all the more better.
For example, sex and love have never been handled as strangely and fascinatingly as on tracks like “Drain You” and “Breed.”
And beyond the lyrics, this is just a great rock album. It’s why the Zepplin lovers and Pixies fans alike can assemble into one place and agree on just how good Cobain was.
The guitars, the drums, the basswork all seem to mesh together into a greater vision of bleak nothingness that many tried, but few did as successfully.
So even now, seperated by all these years, “Nevermind” stands as a testament to a man out to do everything and nothing – in short, it’s whatever, man.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit”