No other records are credited to Kurt Cobain, and this album, in either its single- or double-disc edition, wouldn't exist if Morgan hadn't stumbled upon a cache of homemade cassettes when researching his film. So, truth in advertising in that regard. The bigger question is whether Montage of Heck needs to exist at all. Purportedly an unflinching, "intimate" -- upon its release in November 2015, no writing about the record, whether it arrived in the form of a review or feature, lacked that word -- portrait of the young artist at work, Montage of Heck is cobbled together from home recordings, some previously leaked on Nirvana bootlegs in the '90s (mainly the Outcesticide series), that come tantalizing close to taking the form of a rough demo but are amorphous enough to be called "free form" or "experimental." Uncharitably, they could also be called "dicking around." This isn't a criticism as much as it is a description. Cobain made these tapes with no expectation they'd ever be heard. Based on a few, including the opening "The Yodel Song" (inexplicably featured in a "clean" version on the single-disc and "explicit" in the double-disc), it's likely he never considered the tape again after he pressed the stop button. Certainly, there's some historical merit in exploring early drafts, demos, and outtakes from an important figure, but apart from a handful of demos ("Clean Up Before She Comes," "Sappy," "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle"), Montage of Heck largely doesn't consist of early drafts; it consists of scrawls waiting to be turned into a first draft. While that's interesting for a while, at a certain point -- and it arrives rather quickly -- the fascination curdles and it's hard not to feel unclean, as if you're snooping through your beloved brother's desk.
-- All Music