In Bloom

Song Review by

Kurt Cobain was raised in the decaying blue-collar town of Aberdeen, WA, where like nearly all his peers, he was raised on a musical diet of stale arena rock like Led Zeppelin, Queen, Aerosmith, and Kiss. Cobain decided he loved punk rock before he even had a chance to hear what it sounded like, but it's not always easy to live down one's musical heritage, and like many of his brethren in the Pacific Northwest rock scene, his devotion to Black Flag was often at war with his youthful loyalty to Black Sabbath. The result was a heavy rock undercurrent to Nirvana's music that from the start gave the band a headbanger following they didn't really want, who dug the drop-tuned riffage but didn't understand the band's more arcane musical and lyrical concerns. "In Bloom" was a cryptic attack on Nirvana's more clueless fans, embodied in a working-class Joe who "likes all our pretty songs/And he likes to sing along/And he likes to shoot his gun/But he don't know what it means." Oddly enough, "In Bloom"'s music owed more to standard-issue heavy rock than anything else on the album Nevermind; with its mid-tempo power chords and staggered tom-tom fills, it would have sounded perfectly natural blasting out of the tape deck in a rusted-out Camaro if not for Cobain's noisy, fractured guitar solo. While Cobain had a problem with a big chunk of his audience in early 1991, it was nothing compared to what things would be like a year later, when Nevermind went platinum, Cobain was being profiled in Rip and Circus, and Guns 'N Roses was asking Nirvana to open for them.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Nevermind 1991 DGC / Geffen 4:15
In Bloom 1992 GED 4:17
No Image 1993
Various Artists
Subterranean Records
In Utero 1993 Geffen / DGC 0:00
Roma 1994 KTS
No Image 1994
Singles 1996 MCA 4:14
No Image 2000 Diamond Recordings
Nirvana 2002 Geffen / DGC 4:13
With the Lights Out 2004 Geffen 0:00
Icon 2010 Geffen 4:15
No Image Eagle Rock
No Image