Song of the Day #684: ‘I Don’t Sleep, I Dream’ – R.E.M.

Automatic For the People was one of the hardest of hard acts to follow, so when R.E.M. released Monster two years later, in 1994, they went in a completely different direction.

Here was the “hard” album they’d been talking about recording for years, and then some. The acoustic flavors of Out of Time and Automatic For the People were replaced by distorted, grungy guitars and processed vocals.

Because of the marked contrast from its classic predecessor, it’s tempting to look at Monster as a let-down for the band — in fact, I was prepared to describe it as one of their more underrated albums — but the truth is it was a big hit commercially and received very good reviews.

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