I was not into R.E.M. as a band until the spring of 1990. Sure I had listened to R.E.M. before that point, but I didn’t hear R.E.M. until a family trip. I listened to the album Document a good 20 times front to back that trip with multiple plays of whatever track was my favorite of the day, hour, moment. It probably didn’t hurt to have a calming beach as a setting.
Let me equip my old man voice- This wasn’t a new fangled Ipod. Heh, it wasn’t even a CD player. I had to rewind every time I wanted to listen to a song again. That is right sonny! And I did it with a broken rewind button to boot!
The album features two R.E.M. staples- The One I Love and It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine). I could make a good argument that they are two of the weaker tracks on this album.
The Finest Work Song. I don’t know, but it is in the running. What we want and what we need, has been confused, been confused. So sad and so true.
I don’t want to gunk up any of my fine writing(sarcasm font) with too many links so I will leave it at two songs. Welcome to the Occupation. I think I will write an essay on this song soon.
Automatic For The People– it is not difficult to listen to this album from start to finish. Everybody Hurts is the album’s Losing My Religion– insane amounts of radio play. One of my favorites is Monty Got a Raw Deal. I really enjoy the whole album. Most artists have a song or two on each album that doesn’t quite work for me. While that is true on some R.E.M. albums most I listen to every song.
I can name two R.E.M songs that I really don’t like: Shiny Happy People (though at one point I liked the song, nerd!) and King of Comedy (off Monster). I really can’t make it through 10-15 seconds of Shiny Happy anymore. I really hope I never get caught in a situation where I have to listen to the song again, such as an elevator with a worst of the 90’s station. I would be willing to listen to this version however-
On the Green album World Leader Pretend has always struck a chord with me. I enjoy the lyric- “It’s high time I’ve raised the walls that I’ve constructed” because I always thought of it as having potential dual and opposite meanings, either raised or razed. In context raised makes the most sense, but there is some intentional word play there, which typically scores points with me.
Out of Time was the mortar to Document’s brick. I was sold on R.E.M. I enjoyed everything about the album (not the Shiny). Losing My Religion, despite its almost constant air play in 1991 is still a song I enjoy. Half A World Away– The song has some whimsey about it, musically, however the tone of the lyrics have a longing and wistful feel.
“This could be the saddest dusk
I’ve ever seen
Turn to a miracle
My mind is racing
As it always will
My hand is tired, my heart aches
I’m half a world away here”
Of course I went back into their catalog. Many of the standard R.E.M. tracks make me smile and ponder. Pilgrimage is a fantastic song. I enjoy Murmur as an album. I am like a scratched CD with this statement, but honestly their catalog (at least as far as I have explored) is wonderful. Can’t Get There From Here and Life and How to Live It are currently in heavy rotation when some R.E.M. is needed.
I will admit to not listening much to many R.E.M. albums between Monster and Collapse Into Now. Someone gave me Reveal. There are four albums that I have to explore.
Finally, Collapse Into Now. I am slightly saddened that R.E.M. has decided to go their separate ways, however I find some peace in that with this album. It has the feel of a Coda. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out in the future that the band felt that it was such as they recorded it. I do love some supposition.
I am at the point of the album where I am still firmly hooked on Uberlin. I feel Uberlin in my life these days. I take it in a positive vein. Life is constant change. Managing the changes is what divides people into happy and helpful or miserable and sharing.
Michael, Mike, Peter and Bill- I will enjoy their art until the day my peephole closes for good.