Reviews 45
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Album Ratings 2183
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Last Active 04-25-22 1:48 pm
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R.E.M. ranked

Let's face it, this has alot to do with when you started listening to them. I'm unabashedly a Scott Litt guy, but I get a Don / Joe guy would have Murmur and Reckoning at the top :-)
Around the Sun

I probably should rate this lower. Maybe it would have been better if it was a worse record. It sure is an uninspired, boring one.

R.E.M. rocking out to prove they can rock out, and because the MOR didn't work. It's basic and unrefined, and I found myself skipping through songs that aren't long at all. This might be someone's cup of tea though.
Collapse Into Now

Kind of a grab bag of stuff they've done over the whole of their career. Unnecessary and weaker than the first time around.

I dunno why, but this record has a gelatin vibe for me, like the whole thing has been dunked in jelly water. Imitation of life somehow utilises that its advantage, but everything else struggles through with varying degrees of success. A reactionary record.

Somehow this feels more same-y than Murmur, and the highs aren't as good. There are some guitar tones on this which don't appeal to me. I'm definitely in the minority on this though.
Fables of the Reconstruction

This is similar to Reckoning to me - there's a change and progression from Murmur, but the album seems to lack variety.

Supremely patchy glam trash, but when it works, it's a really fun record. Let me in is genuinely moving.

The gleaming pop debut. The end slacks off, but R.E.M. sound tight and ready to conquer all. There's some endearing tracks on here like Stand - it becomes harder for them to pull off the sardonic, almost gimmicky songs as effortlessly as this.

The IRS years are highly regarded by most fans, but I always found the earliest records difficult to appreciate due to the production. The remaster helps, and the first two thirds of this is really strong guitar pop. Somehow I feel it loses steam in the final stretch.

This earned its reputation as an angry record, but it has a subtlety and grace which is lacking in later attempts to rock out.
New Adventures in Hi-Fi

A difficult album - it's too long and sags at the end (with a beautiful little upturn at the final spot). However, it resonates as the road record it is - it has soaked up the traveler's excitement and weariness. E-Bow the Letter is unbelievable, as is the opener.
Lifes Rich Pageant

My favourite IRS record, and contains Cuyahoga and Fall on me, which are in my top R.E.M. songs. The sound seems fuller and richer, and the energy I found lacking in the other records comes through.
Out of Time

My first R.E.M. CD purchase. Bright, clean and beautiful. And then Country Feedback breaks your heart.

This record actually gets quite a fair amount of actual hatred, but it's the album I return to most besides ATFP. Two duff tracks at position 3 and 4 ruin the flow and could have been dropped - solving the length and pacing problem in one go. After those, it's bliss.
Automatic for the People

This album is as close to perfect as a popular album can be - maybe Everybody Hurts has been overplayed. One of the greatest closing 3 song cycles ever. Nothing is weak or superfluous, the tone is consistent but the work is diverse. Man on the moon would be my first pick for a desert island disk. I love this album.
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