In Review: Nirvana

Caroline Schramka, Reporter

Nirvana is one of my favorite bands because of their creativity. Their songs have an even balance of tempos. They are known as the Grandfather of grunge rock—the music of Generation X.  A variety of their songs have a unique tone to them. However, one song, “Something In the Way,” stands out above the rest. This particular song sounds more like pop music rather than grunge rock.

Nirvana is a grunge rock band that formed in 1987 by Krist Novoselic (bass guitar) & Kurt Cobain (lead vocalist & guitarist). They have gone through several drummers over the years, including Aaron Burkhard, Chad Channing, Dan Peters, Dave Foster & Dave Grohl. Grohl was the final drummer of the band, joining in 1990. They disbanded following Cobain’s death in 1994.

Their lyrics often carried no meaning at all; he often just wrote down random phrases. Although, “Something In the way” seemed to have a deeper meaning.

“Something In the Way” was the final track of their album Nevermind. It was recorded by Butch Vig in 1991 at Sound City Studios, in California. This song was not the easiest one to record for several reasons. Grohl had to play quieter than he was used to and Novoselic had trouble tuning his bass to Cobain’s guitar. Vig amplified the volume to the highest setting because he whispered his vocals. He had to turn off the air conditioning and hold his breath just in order to hear Cobain’s voice. In the end, he was impressed with the way the song sounded, and so was I.

The song is about Cobain’s homelessness as a teenager, due to being kicked out of his house for refusing to get a job and dropping out of high school. The lyrics are believed to have been spray painted underneath the bridge he claimed to live under. It has a laconic format consisting of only a few phrases. Somehow, it still managed to stretch to a duration of four minutes.

I came across the song while watching a video titled “Top 10 Nirvana Songs.” After hearing their positive opinion, I decided to check the song out. It was one of those songs where I had to turn up the volume (my only problem). I have heard some of their previous songs, but this was different from their normal sound.

The song is mainly centered around Cobain’s vocals and guitar, with the drums and bass coming in later. Overall, it had a melancholic and calming tone to it, apart from their quick and eccentric songs. However, Novoselic’s bass guitar was faintly understandable in the song. There was some inflection in his voice, which makes it unique. I wasn’t able to hear his part of the song, but it didn’t change my perspective.

I listen to a variety of genres, including pop, country, rock, and a sprinkle of rap. I don’t listen to rock often, but I was shocked by this song. I felt this song differentiated itself from the usual rock songs. He didn’t scream profusely or mumble his words, instead, his vocals flowed seamlessly throughout.

I highly recommend listening to this particular song. It’s not too overwhelming or boisterous, but it has a steady rhythm that sounds like a lullaby. The song surprisingly has an outstanding composition which separates itself from all other songs.