Nirvana: With the Lights Out (2 Stars)

By Kelly Johnson

In the midst of everyone’s favorite time of year to shell out cash, Geffen Records has issued the long-awaited Nirvana box set “With the Lights Out.”

Hyping more than 50 previously unreleased Nirvana recordings as well as an accompanying DVD, the set provides enough material for any die-hard fan to drool all over his or her flannel.

As we quickly discover, however, the majority of the recordings over the three discs are of mediocre quality at best.

Most of the songs seem to be quick skeletons that Kurt Cobain recorded on the equivalent of a hand-held recorder, never intended to see the light of day. They are interesting for a historical reference, but it’s hard to imagine playing them more than once.

Cobain addicts will already own most of the previously released B-sides here, and these are the tracks that shine through the most.

The highlight of the set comes from the DVD, which provides a glimpse into Nirvana’s early years, when it was more raw and heavier than a skinned whale.

If you are a devoted Nirvana-head, then you probably already own this. If you are a casual fan still debating this purchase, you should burn a friend’s copy.