In the category of songs that are probably covered too often, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is right up there with “Stairway To Heaven” and basically every Beatles single. Thanks to its relatively easy-to-learn primary guitar line and overexposure on modern rock radio, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” made an appearance at every high school talent show from roughly 1991 to 2005. Today, basically nobody needs to redo or remix or even listen to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” under any circumstances ever again. (Except for Tori Amos and Patti Smith and maybe also these guys.)
Which brings us to this opus from Vimeo user “Sleep Good.” Note that this is not “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by the real life band Nirvana. Via the magic of autotune, the original track is transformed into what Sleep Good calls “Teen Sprite” by the not real band Nirvina.
So now we know that if “Smells Like…” gets rearranged into a major key, it ceases to be depressing, and more closely resembles the wares of a more optimistic guitar-based outfit like Weezer, Superdrag, or perhaps The Lemonheads. But not only does it retain its general ’90z-ness, if anything, “Teen Sprite” sounds even more like a product of Nevermind’s time; as if Nirvana kicked in a reverent jam for an Adventures Of Pete & Pete OST record.
I understand why slapping a happy face on an iconic anthem for malcontentedness ruffles some feathers. But, for a change, isn’t it kind of nice to have a conversation about Nirvana without a lot of depressing caveats? Remember how listening to Nirvana is fun if we don’t hyper-focus on Cobain’s tragic 1994 demise?
And as long as we’re asking questions, would rock ‘n’ roll history be completely different today if Tobi Vail just-so-happened to prefer a different brand of deodorant in 1991? Could a song called “Smells Like Old Spice” have ever been Generation X’s rallying cry?
We have things to think about!