Album Reviews

A couple of years back, they did the inevitable 20th anniversary edition of Nirvana’s first album, Bleach, one which I originally purchased during the height of my fandom and then never really got into. Then of course Kurt Cobain killed himself and I stopped listening obsessively to his music for a while. Anyway, Nevermind now sounds very slick and overproduced to me, which is course very ironic given what the grunge movement did to the hair metal genre in general.

So anyway, I got the redone version of Bleach, which now has a full concert attached to the end of the CD, and it’s pretty fucking awesome compared to what I remembered. Why did I not get into this CD 15 years ago? More importantly, listening to the Bleach-era concert, how did songs like “Dive” and “Sappy” not make it onto the original CD? Did Sub-Pop just have really shitty A&R guys or something?

The whole album, minus a couple of weirder entries, is like a brilliant foreshadowing of what grunge would become after Kurt died, basically angry 3-minute pop songs that actually bear little resemblance to the wall of sound that is Nevermind. The concert recording also justifies the feeling I’ve always had about Bleach: “School” should have opened the record and “Blew” should have closed it. Either way, it’s a brilliant record and I wish I would have given it more of a chance during the heydey of my Nirvana obsession.


Bleach  ·   Mini Reviews