Rolling Stone - 5/13/99, p.53
Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone - 9/16/93, p.634.5 stars
- Outstanding - "...Cobain essentially works according to one playbook, but it's a winner no matter how he runs it....IN UTERO is a lot of things--brilliant, corrosive, enraged and thoughtful, most of them all at once..."
Spin - 5/01, p.109Ranked #13
in Spin's "50 Most Essential Punk Records".
Spin - 9/99, p.126Ranked #18
in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s."
Spin - 10/93, p.99
"...IN UTERO is as reckless as anything since Rocket From the Tombs went down in flames....it's not liberation but its absence that gets illuminated in Nirvana's songs....setting out to make the last punk album, [IN UTERO] sounds like the first one instead..."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/31/93, p.115Ranked #5
in Entertainment Weekly's list of 'The Best & Worst Records Of 1993' - "...In unleashed wails that truly sound like someone giving birth, Cobain does more than wrestle his demons in public--he strangles them...."
Entertainment Weekly - 9/24/93, p.90
"...IN UTERO makes it clear that the trio now has a signature sound ready for the patent office....Cobain writes terrifically punchy songs and [the band] ravages them into beautiful, brutalizing clatter..." - Rating: B+
Q - 7/01, p.90
Included in Q's "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time".
Q - 10/01, p.73Ranked #20
in Q's "Best 50 Albums of Q's Lifetime"
Q - 12/99, p.76
Included in Q Magazine's "90 Best Albums Of The 1990s."
Q - 1/94, p.82
Included in Q's list of 'The 50 Best Albums Of 1993' - "...a mature, progressive, marvelous new record..."
Q - 10/93, p.1144 Stars
- Excellent - "...[IN UTERO's] songs confirm Cobain's genius with a tune....If this is how Cobain is going to develop, the future is lighthouse-bright..."
Melody Maker - 1/1/94, p.77Ranked #26
in Melody Maker's list of the 'Albums Of The Year' for 1993.
Melody Maker - 9/4/93, p.31
"...the history of the last two fraught years weighs mighty heavily upon IN UTERO....it occupies a middle ground between the metal-edged, scum-punk spite of BLEACH and the 10-million selling, grunge-with-gloss killer that was NEVERMIND..."
Musician - 10/93, p.88
"...IN UTERO is a living, breathing, crapping beast of a record that eats expectations for breakfast..."
Village Voice (3/94, p.5) - Ranked #2
in the Village Voice's 1993 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
Mojo (Publisher) - p.66Ranked #13
in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "[U]ncompromising, uncomfortable, exhilarating art."
Mojo (Publisher) - 3/03, p.76Ranked #40
in Mojo's "Top 50 Punk Albums" - "...Cobain's voice is frightening, like Rotten 17 years on..."
New York Times (Publisher) - 9/19/93
"...IN UTERO nearly topples under the weight of contempt and vitriol....there is a clear authorial voice on [the album] detailing a life in transition....Mr. Cobain [has been] turned nearly nihilistic by good fortune..."
NME (Magazine) - 8/12/00, p.28Ranked #4
in The NME "Top 30 Heartbreak Albums".
NME (Magazine) - 12/25/93, p.67Ranked #30
in New Musical Express' list of 'The Top 50 LPs Of 1993' - "...this attempt to re-invent the Seattle-ites as an unknown, low-fi punk group was doomed--Kurt Cobain's sense of melody was just too strong to be drowned in dissonance and noise...."
NME (Magazine) - 9/4/93, p.31
"...IN UTERO is a profoundly confused record...neither totally a self-destructive squall of hardcore nihilism...nor NEVERMIND II....As a document of a mind in flux, Kurt should be proud of it..."
Nirvana: Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar); Kris Novoselic (bass); Dave Grohl (drums).
Additional personnel: Kera Schaley (cello).
IN UTERO was nominated for a 1994 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.
"All Apologies" was nominated for 1995 Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal and for Best Rock Song.
Personnel: Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar); Dave Grohl (drums).
Illustrators: Alex Grey; Rodger Ferris.
Photographers: Michael Lavine; Charles Peterson ; Neil Wallace ; Karen Mason; Kurt Cobain; Wendy O'Connor; Robert Fisher.
Nirvana probably hired Steve Albini to produce In Utero with the hopes of creating their own Surfer Rosa, or at least shoring up their indie cred after becoming a pop phenomenon with a glossy punk record. In Utero, of course, turned out to be their last record, and it's hard not to hear it as Kurt Cobain's suicide note, since Albini's stark, uncompromising sound provides the perfect setting for Cobain's bleak, even nihilistic, lyrics. Even if the album wasn't a literal suicide note, it was certainly a conscious attempt to shed their audience -- an attempt that worked, by the way, since the record had lost its momentum when Cobain died in the spring of 1994. Even though the band tempered some of Albini's extreme tactics in a remix, the record remains a deliberately alienating experience, front-loaded with many of its strongest songs, then descending into a series of brief, dissonant squalls before concluding with "All Apologies," which only gets sadder with each passing year. Throughout it all, Cobain's songwriting is typically haunting, and its best moments rank among his finest work, but the over-amped dynamicism of the recording seems like a way to camouflage his dispiritedness -- as does the fact that he consigned such great songs as "Verse Chorus Verse" and "I Hate Myself and Want to Die" to compilations, when they would have fit, even illuminated the themes of In Utero. Even without those songs, In Utero remains a shattering listen, whether it's viewed as Cobain's farewell letter or self-styled audience alienation. Few other records are as willfully difficult as this. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine