“Smells Like Teen Spirit” did not knock me off my ass the way it did millions of other folks that were in my general age range during the winter of 1991-1992. I was a junior in high school and my musical tastes generally ran (and still run) softer. “Teen Spirit” was “crazy white boy heavy metal music*”.
“Come As You Are”, slower, darker and more melodic, was the song that made me a Nirvana fan. “Teen Spirit” felt (and feels) angry. “Come As You Are” feels foreboding, scary. Those opening chords are unsettling, and of course there’s Kurt’s insistence that he didn’t have a gun, which…well, you know how that played out.
It also helped that the lyrics were a lot easier to understand. I’m big on knowing the words to songs.
*-Reflective of my thought process at the time of “Teen Spirit”’s popularity. Not reflective of my thought process as of April 23rd, 2018.