Drain You

An often-exasperating box set offers the final word on Nirvana's legacy

With the Lights Out proves that Nirvana made 
lousy songs, too.
John Popplewell
With the Lights Out proves that Nirvana made lousy songs, too.

The next-to-last song on the box set's third disc is an acoustic demo of "You Know You're Right," the single from 2002's greatest-hits set. The version the radio played is a much better song than this one, but the way Cobain plays it -- carefully and quietly, as if to avoid waking a baby sleeping in the next room -- is almost unbearably poignant in context. It reminds you of how briefly Cobain actually lived as a dad -- that despite the money and celebrity and admiration, his final class crossover into fatherhood ended almost before it began.

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