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MTV Unplugged: Nirvana Unplugged In New York

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Album Review

Sadly, MTV Unplugged stands as Nirvana's last album. While it's an album of covers and old songs, it ranks as one of the band's most cohesive records. Instead of relying on the trio's overpowering sonic force, Unplugged concentrates on Kurt Cobain's subtly shaded songwriting and Nirvana's deceptively simple musical power. Every version of their previously recorded songs, with the possible exception of "On a Plain," dramatically improves the original, and the covers reveal more about Cobain than he intended. By the time Nirvana close with a wrenching, spine-chilling version of Leadbelly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night," the emotional complexity of Nirvana's music is clear. It's also clear that they could have made even greater music.

Biography

Formed: 1987 in Aberdeen, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Prior to Nirvana, alternative music was consigned to specialty sections of record stores, and major labels considered it to be, at the very most, a tax write-off. After the band's second album, 1991's Nevermind, nothing was ever quite the same, for better and for worse. Nirvana popularized punk, post-punk, and indie rock, unintentionally bringing them into the American mainstream like no other band to date. While their sound was equal parts Black Sabbath (as learned by fellow Washington underground...
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