Thursday, December 16th, 2010
11

R.E.M., "Discoverer"


Hey, R.E.M. has a new song out. It's called "Discoverer," which is a cool word, from a new album, called Collapse Into Now, due in March. I haven't paid much attention to R.E.M. this century, but, man, they used to be so awesome. And on first couple listens at least, I really like this. With those high-chiming guitars and its shout-along chorus, this would make for a fine work song.

11 Comments / Post A Comment

libmas (#231)

I dunno. Stipe used to be kind of melodic, even when he was shouty. Here he's just shouty.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

I am sorry to say I pretend they stopped recording in 1987.

Dave Bry (#422)

Really? That's hardcore.

I mean, I can see the point. I saw them play "Stand" in concert around that time. And watched an entire Madison Square Garden doing the stupid dance from the stupid MTV video, and I sort of wrote them off then, too. But I came back to liking them more later. I won't argue that they ever did anything as good as "Reckoning" since "Reckoning." But some of the subsequent records are great in their own way. "Out of Time" and "Automatic for the People," I'd cite as high-points. ("Everybody Hurts"? You don't like "Everybody Hurts"? What are you, made of stone?)

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

I agree with “dntsqzthchrmn” wholeheartedly. I have yet to meet anyone who genuinely and truly likes R.E.M. stuff past the late 1980s. It all comes down to “They can still bring it!” B.S. hype. I’m starting to feel the same way about the Beastie Boys stuff past “Ill Communication”: It’s all forced and non-inspiring in the long run.

Dave Bry (#422)

No. I just listened to "Out of Time," and it sounds great. Kate Pierson's backing vocals are excellent. (Even on the much despised "Shiny Happy People.") The second side particularly ("Belong," "Texarkana," "Country Feedback," etc.) is really strong and beautiful in a very different way from early R.E.M.

And again, I think the early stuff is best, too. But there's no need to write off a group entirely just because they don't match early greatness. Especially in the case of a group that changes stylistically as much as R.E.M. did.

So while we've never met in real life, you now know at least one person who does, genuinely and truly like R.E.M. past the late 1980s. There's much there to like.

unionjackflash (#8,506)

Count me in as a post 80s fan, as well. I prefer my bands to evolve and grow musically – particularly if they are still making music 20 years on. While the college radio sound of the early REM days was perfect for the time, I've moved beyond that and clearly they have, too.

Oh, and the Mix Up is the exact opposite of forced.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Out of Time, Automatic, Monster, New Adventures — they're all beautiful in places. But the first five were from another world. From Up on I don't get it.

Flaneur (#998)

Totally agree with Dave about "Out of Time," which sadly is the only R.E.M. album on my iPod. My friends had my R.E.M. needs covered back in college, and as I was never a super-huge fan (though my first real concert was the Green tour) I never got around to getting the rest. I really should rectify that–I do love the early stuff. But "Country Feedback" is a lovely song.

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

Sorry, I respect your feelings but I accept none of this.

It’s like U2 to me: At a certain point they changed in a way I could not—and cannot—accept anymore. Happy to enjoy what I like of them, but can’t count me in as a fan of their later incarnation.

I agree with Dave's post and subsequent comments. I've never purchased an R.E.M. album. I did somehow acquire a cassette of Document in the late 80s and wore it out, but was turned off by the Mtv famous-ness of the 90s. In the mid- to late-naughts, I started listening to my wife's post-Document pre-millennium CDs. There's some very good alt/pop/rock on those.

jobbotch (#3,528)

I pretty much grew up on R.E.M., but now I think New Adventures in Hi-Fi – which came out when I was already in college – might be one of their two or three best. (And of the IRS era, I actually love Lifes Rich Pageant the most). And post-Bill Berry, well… Up and Reveal have a couple of great songs each. The only truly and totally irredeemable thing they did is Around the Sun – and they seem to have recoiled from it in horror themselves. So there's definitely hope for the new one.

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