No, to answer the first obvious question: This collection of the late Kurt Cobain’s cassette demos and stoned sound collages, a companion to the great documentary Montage of Heck, doesn’t include any particularly revelatory unheard songs. (The tapes on 2004’s With the Lights Out box were evidently the cream of the crop.) Yes, to answer the second obvious question: It scrapes the barrel so hard there are splinters in it.
Even the standard version includes more than a few inchoate sketches, fumbled performances and unfunny “funny voices,” as well as a drowsy cover of The Beatles’ “And I Love Her.” The deluxe edition features another 18 tracks’ worth of half-formed ideas, maddening tape-speed experiments and occasionally chilling spoken-word pieces.
Still, Cobain’s gifts were inseparable from his flaws and provocations: The frisson of his raw power keeps turning up unexpectedly, from the essence-of-Nirvana riff in “The Yodel Song” to the messy doodle whose coda turns out to be “Something in the Way.”