Hippo Manchester
November 24, 2005

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Nirvana

Sliver: The Best of the Box

Geffen

*** 1/2

It’s ironic that grunge latchkey icon Kurt Cobain penned a song called “Milk It,” (from their ‘93 album, In Utero), considering his utter disdain for the record industry. Nirvana’s latest quasi-posthumous release, Sliver: The Best of the Box is doing just that: “milking” the legacy of Cobain, who, some say, died wishing that his art would never be whored by the commercial industry. (No doubt, some fans will find it amusing that no version of “Milk It” is included on the album – that would have been truly ironic). 

Political annotations aside, the album itself is surprisingly solid, at least when you’re prepared for the gritty, rough-and-flannel tracks that Cobain most famously exemplified. Even when Nirvana’s style, which gave birth to the most apt definition of the term “grunge,” is taken into account, you can’t help but feel affected by the track “Sappy,” one of the three new tracks on the album that didn’t appear on the boxed set (or any of their previous albums, for that matter.)

In simple terms, it appears that Cobain’s music has once again been “Milked” for profit, but that doesn’t make Sliver any less of an album. In fact, compared to the many bootlegged records out there, it’s actually quite good. 

So forgive Sliver’s obvious profit motive and appreciate the music. And thank the highers that Courtney and Dave have buried the hatchet or at the least, aren’t wielding them at each other for the moment. 

— Alexander McGrath