The following is the introduction to what will eventually be a review of the recent re-issue of Nirvana’s In Utero. The complete review will be published by Beatroute, Alberta.
Remastered albums usually make me angry. At best, as so perfectly demonstrated by the recent Beatles’ career-spanning collection of remastered brilliance, I feel compelled to buy records I already own and cherish again: such obsession gets costly real fast, especially if you’re a fan of bands whose careers span entire decades.
At worst, remasters amount to nothing more than a blatant cash grab, a record company’s desperate attempt to milk an anemic and teet-bleeding cow of her dwindling supply of watered-down cream, much to the delight of so-called “audiophiles” who exalt, and commence bullshitting endlessly over about quantifiable technicalities of something so numinous and so… other, that they effectively manage to subvert and nullify the beauty and power of the album itself.
Fortunately, the remastered edition of Nirvana’s In Utero manages to steer clear of both of these maddening realities. Nirvana’s is obviously a catalogue cut short: while their other releases have been updated and expanded recently, one can purchase the band’s entire discography for under $100: it’s impossible to conceive of a better way to “burn a Borden” (in Canada) or a “Benjamin” (in the States).
In Utero‘s re-release is warranted and very rewarding; it is, in fact, essential not only for “completists” or avid Nirvana fans, but for anyone who claims to enjoy listening to music. In Utero sounds even better now than it did when it first came out twenty years ago. It’s reissue at once offers an opportunity to rediscover the album for us old folk, while hopefully offering a starting point for the youngsters: in either case, In Utero is nothing short of transformative.