Congrats on using the term "emo" wrong. But I get what you're saying. What you should consider is if a word means one thing to you and something else to the rest of the world, people are probably not going to understand what you're saying.
Cobain was not a great singer, but he's not as bad as some of you guys are portraying him to be. He doesn't have a traditional voice and that's a huge part of what made Nirvana succesful.
brain cells yo
To touch on a point you said about repetition (I've been posting on the phone, heh, forgot to mention it before): repetition is guaranteed to some extent in short songs, but most bands make short songs, and they aren't anything close to the level of monotony that Nirvana songs have. They're just a very monotonous band, which, imnsho, is really bad songwriting.
I sympathize with your point of view, but what you're trying to hold me to is akin to what goes on in the community on slashdot (another forum I frequent regularly): people there tend to be zealots for open-source software, so any time someone says a program is "free", people get all uppity if the program isn't "free" as in "open-source". The thing is, though, they're actually the ones in the wrong, because whatever person said that XYZ is "free" was using the generally-accepted meaning of the term. As was I in this example.
Well, Kurt was around before that usage of emo was used... so he's safe
I mean, look at these lyrics. Fade to Black by Metallica
Life it seems, will fade away
Drifting further every day
Getting lost within myself
Nothing matters no one else
I have lost the will to live
Simply nothing more to give
There is nothing more for me
Need the end to set me free
Things not what they used to be
Missing one inside of me
Deathly lost, this Can t be real
Cannot stand this hell I feel
Emptiness is filling me
To the point of agony
Growing darkness taking dawn
I was me, but now he 's gone
No one but me can save myself, but it's too late
Now, I can't think, think why I should even try
Yesterday seems as though it never existed
Death Greets me warm, now I will just say goodbye
If that song came out today, it would be called emo.
Blow yer' harmonica son
Emo, even in today's usage, does not mean "Overly Whiny."
'Emo Music,' which does not actually exist in it's entirety, but the bands and songs that are labeled emo, yes, they are quite whiny.
Emo, is short for Emotional.
And it's odd, most of nirvana's songs are not much about emotion whatsoever.
In terms of good songwriting and lyrics.
Cobain was very good at metaphors.
Tell me, before this statement,
What do you think "Drain You" is about?
I'll post the following in black, so it does not affect your perception of the previous questions
Drain You is about taking Heroin.
Now, if you didn't think that, I want you to go back and look at the lyrics, and you will see how much apparent sense that makes
I DEMAND that an update be released for rockband, that contains Zebra pants that are NOT skin tight.
Chew your meat for you
Pass it back and forth
In a passionate kiss
From my mouth to yours
I like you
This led me to believe that the song was about someone who is addicted to sex, or in other words, a whore.
One baby to another says
I'm lucky to have met you
The number of abortions.
I don't care what you think
Unless it is about me
This fit into the chorus.
The problem was, the rest of the song didn't fit very well.
So, I'm asking out of pure curiosity, how does the chorus fit into the heroin meaning? I'm guessing "chew your meat" can refer to the needle squeezing the skin, and the "passionate kiss" can refer tot he transfer from the needle to the veins.
Also, Serve the Servants is a well written, IMO. Double meanings. Half of it about Cobains childhood, the other half about the medias view on Courtney Love.
Blow yer' harmonica son
EDIT: And I should note that I'm not always violently opposed to emo songs. They can be good, but when that's all I hear out of a band, I'm going to write that band off, because they can't find anything to do but make whiny songs.