Song of the Day #3,508: ‘Electron Blue’ – R.E.M.

Today’s Random Weekend SOTD, ‘Electron Blue,’ is one of the best songs on R.E.M.’s worst album, 204’s Around the Sun. It’s the album’s second track and third single.

‘Electron Blue’ is lead singer Michael Stipe’s favorite track from this album, and one of his favorite R.E.M. songs, period. I like it well enough, and agree that it’s a highlight of an otherwise unforgettable album, but I’m sorry, this doesn’t stand up to the best of R.E.M., not even close.

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Song of the Day #3,207: ‘I Wanted To Be Wrong’ – R.E.M.

‘I Wanted To Be Wrong’ has the dubious distinction of being the best song on the worst album by one of the best bands of all time.

2004’s Around the Sun was R.E.M.’s unlucky 13th album, the third without drummer Bill Berry and their most uninspired effort. Only this song and one or two others are worth hearing.

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Song of the Day #690: ‘The Ascent of Man’ – R.E.M.

Three and a half years after Reveal failed to set the world on fire, R.E.M. released their most disappointing album yet — 2004’s Around the Sun. Oddly, I have sort of the opposite reaction to this record than I do to Reveal… I find myself wanting to like it even as the songs fall flat. I guess it’s the part of me that likes rooting for the underdog.

It’s also the part of me that wanted to believe that one of my most beloved bands hadn’t simply lost it. Two disappointments in a row following a strong but very out-of-character album… it seemed as if the loss of Bill Berry really had fundamentally changed R.E.M. This was a new band, and a worse one.

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