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on 18 December 2017
Good
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on 21 December 2017
REM @ their best.
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on 3 January 2018
Great
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on 7 August 2017
A superbly recorded album with tunes that go somewhere. Beats bland modern tosh - thank god I'm not a teenager.
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on 24 December 2002
It's difficult, ten years on, to say anything remotely original about this album. While not my favourite REM LP, I think I must concede that it is one of their best.
Following Grammy-soliciting Out Of Time, it must have been hard for REM to go back into the studio with that hanging over their heads. While Out of Time read like the slow decline of a relationship (through the giddy highs and lows of Losing My Religion and Shiny Happy people to Low and Country Feedabck), Automatic reads like the slow decline of a life. The lyrics are dark, the music full of gothic flourishes.
From the beginning then, those highpoints in full:
Drive - REM's response to the courting of the Generation X'ers by the grunge groups. REM were cited as being a little old hat - and this song suggests they were savvy to this. With the MTV-baiting refrain "Hey kids, rock and roll, nobody tells you where to go...", they were speaking to 'the kids' without patronising them.
Sweetness Follows - Delicate, breathtakingly beautiful, this is one of REM's finest compositions. Stipe's vocal performance is flawless, and the lyrics are among his best. While he is urging us to see whatever light there may be at the end of the tunnel, the lapping tides of feedback are there to remind us that with this hope, there is still pain. This is one of those songs that makes you wonder how anyone could write REM off...
Star Me Kitten - This track is just noise to me, the way I like it. The lyrics are indistinct; it's best just to let the music, the keyboard drones (originally samples of Dennic Hopper's Frank Booth) and the twinges of feedback wash over you.
Nightswimming - Plaintive, emotive and very beautiful, this is a song that means a lot to me. With its simple piano motif and sleepy Coleridge-like narrative lyrics, its a classic piece of songwriting.
Find The River - REM's trump card is usually their choruses. This track features the truly stunning dam-burst of a chorus that ranks among their best moments. When Stipe sings "I have got to find the river" and the music blossoms into life behind him, you know that this is a band with a winning hand.
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on 26 May 2016
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. Haunting yet beautiful music wrapped around the thought provoking lyrics of Michael Stipe. For me 'Try not to Breathe' and 'Find The River' are stand out tracks but if as the song says 'Everybody Hurts....Sometimes' there is not a better album out there to either lift your mood or to help you wallow in the sadder side of life
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on 27 November 2013
Had this on CD for some time and have been a fan of REM for some time, decided to buy this on vinyl and i was not disappointed there is a tangible difference between the two sources for me. A wonderful sound, full and with texture, from Michael Stipes' vocals to the guitar work of Peter Buck. Solidly underpinned by bass and drums, sometimes dark and haunting folk, blues within a very well engineered and presented album.
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on 22 July 2017
Bought as replacement - I bought it when first was released so had it on cassette. Fantastic album, are fantastic songs on it.
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on 14 May 2001
The problem with most REM albums is that they don't knock you over when you first listen to them. You think: "hmmm...I like this part of that song, and I like this melody... and that chorus...but nothing has really stood out yet... I'm waiting for THE track to smack me in the face...". But it doesn't come.
Then, as you're sitting at work, at home, or whatever... you suddenly start humming something thats been in your subconscience the whole damn day. How do REM do it? It must be subliminal messaging, 'cos I don't have a clue. After a few days and countless other plays, you find classics like 'Sweetness Follows', 'Drive' and 'Man On The Moon' churning in your brain. And that damn 'Sidewinder sleeps Tonite'! I...just ...cant...get it out of...my mind...
Soon you realise that 'Everybody Hurts' is probably the most poignant song ever written, and 'Nightswimming' one of the most beautiful. "Hang on a minute...", you say to yourself. "There isn't a duff track on this...but I thought i didn't like...". And then it hits you. "This is one of my favourite albums!"
I don't know how they do it. But they do.
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on 2 November 2017
really enjoyed hearing this album again. great stuff.
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