This isn’t really a review. I’ve only just downloaded the 15th album by R.E.M and I am giving it its first listen through. Really, this is just a boy (in the body of a man) being excited about an album for the first time in a long time. I’m not a music type of guy, I’m never in the know and certainly won’t have tips on who is up and coming, so I never got the whole “highly anticipated follow up album” thing or whatever. That being said, R.E.M. is the first band that I knew as a band. I’d listened to music before I discovered R.E.M., 50’s rock if I remember correctly and only because it made me different from my older brothers that liked more modern rock music. R.E.M. was the first band I knew as cohesive group, rather than a single on the radio, the first time I bothered to learn anything about the band members, and the only band I’ve ever owned a t-shirt of.
“Shamefully” I came to know R.E.M. through one of their most popular and derided songs, “Stand”. From what I know, even the band hates that song now, but for me it was a starting point. It was where my life intersected with a band that I have continued to follow to this day. No other band has ever inspired this much loyalty from me (or purchases for that matter). They are rarely the flavor of the month album that I have on repeat, but they are like a comfort food…I can always come back and enjoy.
At some point my attention did begin to wain, but their last effort Accelerate got me excited about being a fan again. For the first time in a long time I found myself singing R.E.M. songs in the car, even when they weren’t on. Fast forward to a few weeks back, I’m shopping on Amazon and get a recommendation to check out the new R.E.M. single – Oh My Heart. This haunting little tune stuck with me weeks.
Anyway, enough blabbing. I’m gonna go listen to an album and enjoy.