R.E.M. – Monster


Their worst album at this point in time: the band plagiarize “Everybody Hurts” to make “Strange Currencies”; they bring in Thurston Moore to play background guitar on “Crush With Eyeliner” in one of those features that you wouldn’t know existed if not for the internet; Michael Stipe sings in a falsetto in “I Don’t Sleep, I Dream” and “Tongue” and that’s not okay; “I Don’t Sleep, I Dream” was a line that was fully absorbed into what could have easily been one of the greatest TV shows if not for the finale (True Detective) and that’s neither here nor there; “Circus Envy” does the Husker Du thing of covering up a song with noise except Husker Du also wrote melodies; “You” mercilessly plods along for 4 minutes to its limp-dicked finale; all of these songs are the same tempo and mostly revolve around the same chord progressions. This album is one of many overly-praised and quickly-forgotten bullshit you had to deal with in the post-Nevermind wake, which would make sense if Monster were released in 1992 or something.

“Highlights”: “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” has a really good guitar blare throughout its choruses and has a mild tune, but that’s more than I can say about the rest of this album (that being said, I’d take the 50 second intro by Game Theory with almost the same title), the bridge on “Tongue” sounds like it’s being played on a tuba and that’s kind of nifty, and Mike Mills and a team of four women almost – almost – elevate “Bang and Blame.” R.E.M. are perhaps the only band in the world where you know how good/bad an album is based solely on its cover.


5 responses to “R.E.M. – Monster

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