Come as You Are

Song Review by

Hearing Kurt Cobain sing "And I swear that I don't have a gun" gives "Come as You Are" a sting it was never meant to have when Nirvana's breakthrough album, Nevermind, was first released in 1991. However, coming from a band (and an album) whose raison d'ĂȘtre was usually bad karma, "Come as You Are" was a rare oasis of compassion and understanding; if it's hardly an up tune, with its descending minor-key melody and wobbly, effects-drenched guitar lines, it also suggests that the often judgmental Mr. Cobain was willing to accept his audience on their own terms, at least at this moment -- either "doused in mud" or "soaked in bleach." When Cobain declares that he's unarmed, it's an attempt to reassure listeners that no matter how much of a misanthrope he may be, his target is the world at large rather than the individuals in it, and that there was still room in this damaged world for everyone. A year after he recorded "Come as You Are," the world at large was showing up at Cobain's doorstep as he went from being a minor cult figure to a bona fide rock star, and it's significant that he wouldn't express quite this degree of openness for his audience again.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Nevermind 1991 DGC / Geffen 3:39
Music That Hits a Nirvana Whole Lot More 1992
Various Artists
MCA 3:41
In Utero 1993 Geffen / DGC 0:00
Roma 1994 KTS
No Image 1994 KTS
No Image 1994
Singles 1996 MCA 3:38
Fender 50th Anniversary Guitar Legends 1996
Various Artists
Point Blank / Virgin 3:38
No Image 2000 Diamond Recordings
Nirvana 2002 Geffen / DGC 3:39
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Sliver: The Best of the Box 2005 Geffen 4:10
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:41
Icon 2010 Geffen 3:40
All Acoustically Kiss the Stone 4:06
No Image
Various Artists
No Image
Various Artists
No Image