Even if Nirvana’s 1993 album In Utero was much closer in feel to the band’s previous releases than Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was to “Love Me Do” and “Please, Please Me”, it still came off as a carefully coordinated retreat from the relative accessibility of Nevermind’s hits, darker sounding — in part due to Steve Albini’s production — even if it wasn’t that big a departure lyrically from the already strange and pessimistic word collages of its predecessor.
I always felt like In Utero was too closely coordinated, and too complicated as well. For obvious reasons, I can't help but compare it to Joy Division's Closer. It hints at what is (not) to come, but is wrapped just a bit too tight, definitely in production, but something else. Nirvana had Bleach, and it seems that if Kurt still had the spirit, Rape Me could have been recorded to fit on that album. But, in the interim he did marry, have a kid, and become the face of feeling in the horse latitudes that were the 90's.