Still the Kings of Teenage Angst
I wish I was like you Easily amused Find my nest of salt Everything is my fault I’ll take all the blame Aqua seafoam shame Sunburn with freezerburn Choking on the ashes of her enemy
Kids today think they know everything about teenage angst. And really, that’s okay. That’s part of teenage angst, feeling like nobody understands you, feeling like you’re alone and you’re meaningless. Hell, I was there, I remember what it was like, and the truth is that it sucked. It sucked hardcore.
So it’s not shock that teens are drawn to bands who play up the idea of teenage angst, even if the members aren’t teenagers anymore. Early Fall Out Boy and Good Charlotte, as well as My Chemical Romance, Midtown, The Dresden Dolls, Motion City Soundtrack and Taking Back Sunday, all of these bands both dismay over and celebrate teenage angst.
But 15 years ago, the ultimate teenage angst band released their third and final studio album.
Nirvana‘s In Utero hit shelves on September 21st, 1993. The album served as a follow up to their hit Nevermind and contains classic Nirvana hits such as “Rape Me,” “Heart-Shaped Box” and “All Apologies,” quoted above. The original album title was I Hate Myself and Want To Die, which tragically turned out to be both true and prophetic.
A little more than six months later, Nirvana frontman, lead singer and lyricist Kurt Cobain was found dead from an apparently self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. He was 27 years old.
Cobain became both a celebrated musician and a cry for help from the misunderstood youth of the world. The man had everything and yet was still plagued by depression and drug addiction, he was handed the world and it wasn’t enough to make him happy. And that’s what teenage angst at it’s fullest is: at 15 or 16 you’re told you have it easy, that it’s the best time of your life. And yet it’s easy to feel marginalized, to feel ignored, to not know where to go for help. Cobain’s death is easy to shake off as him not appreciating what he had, but really, what did he have? Money, fame, yeah, those are awesome. But as a growing number of modern performers, including Pete Wentz and Gerard Way, have testified, none of those are worth a damn if you can’t feel comfortable in your own skin, if you can’t feel in some way understood, if you can’t find hope.
In Utero‘s legacy as a rock album is set in stone. And Cobain’s honest, dark and sometimes confounding lyrics will continue to be the underlying anthem of the youth who are just hoping to get by for another day.
All in all is we all are