Mixed Tape Masterpiece culls the cream of 80′s Pop for you.
53. REM — Reveal
I bought this — or rather, my aunt bought it for me, and I may have paid her back — at a Costco, because I saw it on the way out after getting the full Costco experience (the mayonnaise…THE MAYONNAISE). Back in 2001, I thought that it had lovely melodies and almost no emotional impact. Eleven years later, after an extensive two-week program of listening to it to find unheard nuances, I think the exact same thing.
So the critics are right. If emotional truth and connection is what you expect from REM — which, after all, was once their stock-in-trade — then skip this one. You won’t care about it no matter how long it sits, like an extra coaster, in your CD tower.
This concludes my REM CD’s. Next week, The Rolling Stones.
52. R.E.M. — New Adventures in Hi-Fi
Critics like to give bands certain arcs, and those arcs tend to conform with the rise-and-fall of tragedy. The Beatles “fell apart” due to success, the Stones jumped the shark in the 70′s, briefly re-grouped for Some Girls, and then coasted along ever since. And according to overwhelming critical assessment, R.E.M. put out their last good album in 1996. Continue reading
52. REM — Automatic for the People
In January 1999, I was on assignment for my first job at Nabisco Headquarters in New Jersey. I was driving a 1986 Lincoln Mk VII that I’d purchased for a song the previous August. I used to drive up from my Philadelphia apartment early Monday Morning and drive back Friday evening. One Friday that month a blizzard struck. All my colleagues advised against trying to get home, but I was 22 and stupid, so I went anyway. Somewhere in the 130′s of the Garden State Parkway, I tried to pass a snowplow, fishtailed, panicked, over-corrected, and smacked into the Jersey wall. My Lincoln was totalled and I spent eight hours getting home.
The song on the stereo when I crashed? “Everybody Hurts” by REM.
You can laugh, it’s funny.