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But that said, it is one of the few albums I have ever heard without a single weak moment. Personally, discounting New Orleans Instrumental #1 (I always discount instrumentals; don't ask me why!), "Man On The Moon" is probably my least favourite song and, given that it's an amazing all-time classic, that probably tells you all you need to know about the quality of the songs on here.
Elsewhere, "Star Me Kitten" is an astonishing piece of work and one of only a few songs (Radiohead's "Creep" amongst the others) that turns a certain four letter word beginning with F amazon won't let me write into the most beautiful sounding word in the English language. "Nightswimming" has the odd ability to make you feel nostalgic for a time you never actually experienced while "Find The River" is almost spiritual.
Elsewhere, the lyrical content "Try Not To Breathe" and "Sweetness Follows" helps prove that, although REM are dismissed by some of the alternative set as radio-friendly and simplistic, they, like Nick Cave, actually visit far darker places than virtually any band of the cut-out-and-shock amongst the metal brigade while "Sidewinder..." is an upbeat slice of simple pop music; but simple pop music done so splendldily.
Elsewhere, "Drive", "Monty Got a Raw Deal" and the political rock of "Ignoreland" round off an excellent album and an amazing achievement.
On listening to this record, it feels like you are listening to a greastest hits album. Every track you will be singing along to and I guarantee it won't leave your CD player for weeks, if months...
Like most of my all time faves, this disc didn't have me hooked from the start. In fact, I thought it was the most overrated piece of junk ever! But back then I was a spotty teenager who'd recently picked up the guitar and found that I could play all the songs with out any trouble (while I struggled to get to grips with anything by Brain May, Slash, Hendrix and Page)... I thought that if music was simple an understated, it was bad music. Buck, Berry, Mills and Stipe taught me that there was more to making great music than blistering musicianship. Over the months of listening to it, I found that I gradually got to love the tracks outside of the core singles "Drive", "Everybody Hurts", "Man on the Moon" and "Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite". But that took time.
Out of Time was the first album I had of theirs, and I was immediately won over by its warmth and accessibility, but AFTP was so stark in comparison. However, something made me pick it up and put it on again (mostly the singles that I did like) - and after a few weeks "Try not to Breathe" and "Find the River" became the most special tracks for me. One by one, other tracks followed, until I couldn't fault a single note (although, it really is the notes they don't play, the dead air, that makes this record so different). With the passage of many months, this band went from zeros to heroes in my eyes until I wore out my tape and had to replace it with a CD.
You'd think I would have learned from this experience, but when I first heard their follow-up, Monster, I absolutely hated it with a passion. Of course, within a month I'd reversed my opinion completely.Read more ›
It is in the sequel to these albums that a true masterpiece was created. Automatic for the People has a power of no other album; an inherent emotional applomb with the ability to move the coldest of the cold. On the back of two excellent albums, this heralded a new level of musical excellence.
Haunting, macabre songs such as Sweetness Follows, Try not to Breathe and Drive compliment the beautiful, emotionally heightened brilliance of Everybody Hurts, Nightswimming and Find the River. Wonderful alternate musical styles and melodies from the band were complimented by the incredible vocals and lyrical genius of lead singer Michael Stipe. More upbeat lively songs such as Man On the Moon and the Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite are classics, the latter being a crazy, lyrical shambles that works a delight in light of the band's innovation and unique style.
Whether you're an R.E.M. fan or not, this album is a must-have and the best place to start if you desire to formulate an avid interest in the band's productions.
Some excellent material has followed, but Automatic for the People is truly one of the greatest albums of all time (my favourite personally) and a definitive turning point in the face of 90s rock music- by the world's greatest band.
Two words for you who does not possess the album: buy it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Been looking for this cd for ages, it is brill, especially everybody hurt's.Published 2 months ago by susieblue
If music is meant to delve into our emotions and make us happy or sad then this album from REM certainly taps into the latter. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nik Pearce