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Old 03-30-2010, 02:44 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Great review. I haven't a single live release from the band. I feel kind of embarassed because of it.
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Old 03-30-2010, 07:48 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Great review. I haven't a single live release from the band. I feel kind of embarassed because of it.
You should get Live At the Olympia. It's pretty good
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:57 AM   #73 (permalink)
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>>In response to Murmur review, still working my way thru the thread:

Great review, I'm a massive R.E.M. fan and looking forward to New Adventures and Reckoning. Love what you had to say about Perfect Circle, I heard Bill Berry wrote that song, I'm sure I actually heard Michael say that before playing at one of the more recent gigs.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:45 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Thanks a lot, you four. Out of Time is next. Review should be up in a few days.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:16 AM   #75 (permalink)
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Great reviews, completely agree with your opinions on Reckoning, and think I might need to dig out my Tourfilm DVD tonight, haven't seen it for ages.
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:14 PM   #76 (permalink)
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Great thread Rickenbacker you can tell that you are outstandingly passionite about the band and Reckoning is my favourite album of thiers too with Lifes Rich Pageant as a close second I never got into thier Warner Brothers albums but may buy a few after your reviews when you post them.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:43 AM   #77 (permalink)
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Starting to get quite addicted to this thread, am constantly checking for the next one, so hurry up ;-)

Dug out New Adventures the other night and started listening to it again, I remember the first time I heard Undertow and thought it had one of the best bass lines ever.
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:50 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Sorry for the wait, I was waiting for the right day to listen to this album again.

Out of Time
Released 1991
Warner Bros. Records



Near Wild Heaven... not near enough.

I'm sitting outside on the fourteenth of April in pleasant New Haven, Connecticut. The sun is shining through the virgin green buds of the Linden trees, casting a shadow upon the front porch on which I sit, laptop by my side. Bees buzz in the breeze, too placid to sting or even move. The temperature is a beautiful 73 degrees Fahrenheit, and R.E.M.'s 1991 record "Out of Time" is playing.

These are the days for which this album was made. I think I'm happier than I've been in months. What changed? Such is the paradox of Summer, the season during which one's troubles seem to simply drift away, as if they were never even there. The key to making what we know of as a "Summer Album" is to emulate this very feeling.

The group's previous LP Green presented them with two very different possibilities as to what path the band could go down musically. Green's raucous arena rock songs and quiet, contemplative ballads were both executed well, and it seemed left up solely to the band's wishes which they would choose, keeping in mind that the choice would effectively define the sound of their Warner Brothers Years output. After the success of their 1989 World Tour, R.E.M., exhausted from the previous decade of near-constant recording and touring (they released a studio album every year from 1982-1988, touring constantly in between), took a year long break for the purpose of assessing their options and their effective position as a mainstream-fringe recording artist. The result? A shimmering, glorious record which, despite a few glaring issues, represents the pinnacle of R.E.M.'s career musically and production-wise. Songs like Texarkana, on which Mike Mills sings lead, glow with a fresh, lush sheen that appears to sound neither dated nor radically forward-thinking. With a prevalent Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys influence, the oft-maligned Belong and Shiny Happy People are actually pretty good songs when not taken seriously. They're kind of, well...dare I say happy? Indeed, happiness is a key theme on Out of Time. Another Mike Mills lead, Near Wild Heaven rings with hints of Lifes Rich Pageant. It's springy piano line conjures thoughts of Hyena and What if We Give it Away? Like those on Lifes Rich Pageant and Green, the songs present on Out of Time feature rich and diverse musical accompaniment. Organs, horns and harpsichords adorn many songs, while classical violins and cellos provide the backing for the whole album. Incidentally, the two songs that feature lead mandolins are among the very best on the record. One is the achingly beautiful "Half A World Away," perhaps the most sincere love song R.E.M. will ever write. During what is by far his best vocal performance up to that point, Michael Stipe sings:

"Oh this lonely world is wasted
Pathetic eyes high alive
Blind to the tide that turns the sea
This storm it came up strong
It shook the trees
And blew away our fear
I couldn’t even hear"

The other song, of course, is the legendary and immortal "Losing My Religion", a song the likes of which the world will never again experience. Losing My Religion is the best pop song of the 1990s simply because it defies the conventions of a pop song. Yes, it was Losing My Religion, not Smells Like Teen Spirit that first "broke the mainstream" for alternative music, and this song is just as anthemic without ever losing its musical credibility. For me, Losing My Religion defines the emotion and spirit of the nineties, but never stops influencing me as a child of the aughts. No, the world will never know another Losing My Religion, but thankfully we can appreciate it now. Oh, and I love the music video in all its borderline-pretentious arthouse glory.

Indeed, Out of Time has very brilliant moments full of transcendent beauty. Why then, does it never reach its deserved heavenly goals? For one thing, some songs are just not up to the high bar set by classics such as Losing My Religion. The "funky" opening tune "Radio Song", featuring an inexplicable guest performance by rapper KRS-One is a near disaster, saved from utter failure only by the brief moments during which KRS is, well, not present. In addition, the instrumental "Endgame" strives for "Fall Breaks and Back into Winter", but due to its length, borders on boring and pointless. Most importantly, however, I find myself hating "Out of Time" most months of the year, simply because it truly only works as a Summer album. Today was perfect for this record, but as recently as last week I would have found myself disappointed by the thick production and spotty songwriting present. Taking this into account, the only thing that bumps "Out of Time" from being just an average album is the dark, dirge-like tenth track, an often overlooked number called "Country Feedback." This song's dark lyrics and rough musicianship would fit right at home on "Fables of the Reconstruction," and sounds like a lost classic as a result. Incidentally, Country Feedback actually hints at a very different future for R.E.M.; a future that would be met with very mixed reactions from fans and critics.

Ah well. In the end, Out of Time certainly serves a purpose. I've listened to Out of Time three times in the time it took to write this review, and I've enjoyed every minute of it.

Key Tracks: "Losing My Religion", "Half a World Away", "Country Feedback"

7/10



Next Step: The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

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Old 04-14-2010, 10:19 PM   #79 (permalink)
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pleasant New Haven, Connecticut.
Hahaha.


Oh and good reviews and stuffz.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:23 PM   #80 (permalink)
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Thanks for that great review of Out Of Time. The song Losing My Religion takes me back to when I was a young kid. Rather, the whole damn album brings back good memories. I was just a year old when this record came out, so I grew up with it. Half A World Away is one of my most favourite songs by REM, and (if you don't mind) I must share this beautiful acoustic performance from 1991 on MTV:



The other dude playing guitar with Peter Buck is Peter Holsapple, the guitarist from fellow Athens band the dB's. Mike Mills is on organ here and Bill Berry is on bass.
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