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Soldier Valley Spiri Group

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Energy Sistem Music Box 7 €? Review

Bleach [Sub Pop, 1989]I never reviewed this historic debut, one of only three studio albums Kurt Cobain got to record, because it was released in late 1989 and Nevermind only became a thing in late 1991, when my '80s Consumer Guide book was already in print. I did praise it cautiously when I reviewed Charles Cross's 2001 Cobain biography, only to immediately credit Nevermind's "head-bustingly hyperactive drummer Dave Grohl" with rendering Nirvana "a great band." But my belated discovery of Sliver having sent me back, I find that not only do I admire Grohl less, as who the foo doesn't, but blame producer Jack Endino for how dry Bleach's songs sound--way too dry for grunge, a way of music that benefits from extra sputum. Sure it's still a major album: Cobain is a lost treasure. But I prefer Sliver. By a lot. B+

Energy Sistem Music Box 7 – Review

Sliver: The Best of the Box [Geffen, 2005]In her 2011 review "Nevermind Already: Nirvana's 20th Anniversary Boxset," Jessica Hopper was inspired by a less redundant maxi-retrospective of Jimi Hendrix's Winterland shows to say it all in eight words: "Cobain is not our Jimi--he's our Jim"--that is, "a died-young druggie poet-totem" in the tradition of J. Morrison himself. It was because I'd whiffed this truth myself that I skipped 2004's three-CD rarities box With the Lights Out, although when I wrote my rave for 2009's Live at Reading, their very first true concert album, I allowed as how the "detritus-happy" box was "not only fascinating but pleasurable." Which means I had no excuse for skipping this single-CD distillation of that box when it came out in 2005. But it was only after a 2021 pull from my Nirvana section that I connected with it--immediately, after first noting that the opening "Spank Thru" was so pained and ungainly it was irresistible and then realizing that I was hearing a very young Kurt and loving it. Yes there are variations on songs you know by heart: a winningly unfinished "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Come as You Are" enlarged by a rare Cobain solo, two "Rape Me"s and a "Heart Shaped Box." But it's the more obscure material that fascinates me: the introspective "Opinion," the neat "Clean Up Before She Comes," the roiling "Oh the Guilt," the domestic abuse howl "Ain't It a Shame." As an old person I wish "Old Age" was sharper, and the music does get better when Dave Grohl joins midway through. But it doesn't really have that far to go. A


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