So the new cd from REM… what to expect. I have loved REM since Green came out in the early 90s when I worked in Guernsey, you would hear that and Out of Time blasting from lots of the staff rooms as we passed them by on our way to the beach… Then for my 21st I got given ‘Automatic For The People’ and like most people of my age it has become a big part of the soundtrack of my life.
So it was and always is with great anticipation that I cycled into town to buy the new REM cd. I know the press have slated their last few albums but I have to disagree, they are still making brilliant music maybe just not quite a brilliant as Automatic.. but really.. who else is? And also what an album Automatic was and it would take a lot to achieve higher success than that.
So to take this album track by track. Discover is a blasting introduction, great guitar intro and pounding drum that really gets you Michael Stipe pounds out some great vocals. I must confess All The Best does sound very similar to Discoverer but it has some great guitar in there and they seem to be enjoying themselves. My fav from the start was Uberlin, it is a slow more ‘Eletrolite’ kind of song. Must be really annoying for bands to have their new songs compared to old ones, but all the same, this is the flavour of this song. All my heart has that lovely Peter Buck Mandolin that we know so well from ‘Out of time’ it’s a plantive song and jogs along quite nicely but nothing really to write home about. ‘It happened today’ – this one has a lovely backing vocal from Mike Mills as well as that mandolin again. The final soaring harmonies are wonderful and I am back to ’92 again on that beach! ‘Everyday is yours to win’ I think this is my second fav on the album, really lovely slow guitar and Michael’s vocals lure you in. The vocal tag at the end with Mike Mills and Michael Stipe exchanging vocals is lovely and you hear the influence of Brian Wilson within this song. ‘Mine Smell like honey’ this is the one that catches me the least. Just a bit of a blur of noise really. ‘Alligator Aviator Autopilot Antimater’ is a lively number with a great female vocal provided by Patti Smith who also appeared on their brilliant album ‘New Adventures In Hi-Fil’. ‘That Someone is You’ this is another raging guitar song with Michael really enjoying the vocals. ‘Me Marlon Brando and I’, nice slow number. ‘Blue’ this sounds just like a re-working of ‘low’ from ‘Out of time’ Michael speaking the words it gets going towards the end though. Lovely backing vocals by Patti Smith. As a nice little accompaniment REM have produced videos to accompany each of the songs check them out at www.remhq.com
I would recommend the album to buy.
ps Michael I love the beard!