Not much going on to blog about… it’s April 10 and I’ve yet to see a 2008 movie. That has to be some kind of record. And it’s by choice, as nothing has opened that I’m really excited to see.
So, in the interest of new content, here is a list of all of R.E.M.’s full-length studio albums, in order of my preference:
1. Fables of the Reconstruction
Their finest hour. A lovely mess featuring some of their best-ever songs — ‘Driver 8,’ ‘Can’t Get There From Here,’ ‘Maps and Legends’ and ‘Green Grow the Rushes.’
2. Automatic for the People
Elegant and majestic, a near-perfect album (only ‘Ignoreland’ keeps it out of the top spot).
3. Life’s Rich Pageant
The flip side of Fables, this album is the finest example of R.E.M. as rockers.
A bit unfocused, but absolute classics like ‘So. Central Rain,’ ‘Rockville’ and ‘Harborcoat’ are quintessential R.E.M.
5. New Adventures in Hi-Fi
Their last album as a foursome is one of their most underrated. As the title suggests, they took some chances and went in some new directions here with mostly smashing success.
Their first album as a trio, and different from anything they’d done before. This is their most underrated album.
The one that started it all, and basically ushered in the alternative movement. It’s worthy on that front, but also a fine collection of odd tunes.
8. Out of Time
Their first mega-success. The finest moments on the album are the ones that didn’t get much attention… give me ‘Half a World Away’ over ‘Losing My Religion’ and ‘Country Feedback’ over ‘Shiny Happy People.’
The “comeback” album. A breath of fresh, and frenzied, air following a couple minor disappointments.
Another rocking good time, with some great political tunes… loses focus a bit at the end.
A grungy rock album with some excellent songs and a couple turkeys.
Not a bad album by any means — several of the songs are quite good — but probably their least memorable record.
13. Around the Sun
Again, the songs are pretty good but the production and instrumentation are largely sterile. This is the album that made Accelerate necessary.
Only one song — ‘World Leader Pretend’ — that would find its way on an R.E.M. mix tape. The rest are disposable.