R.E.M.’s second worst album, and I’m shocked that someone okayed them enough money to hire a 30-bit orchestra and that producer Pat McCarthy reduced them into sounding like a fucking machine. This is their second worst album, and I used to think Robert Christgau was a nut for being a professional reviewer and doing this, but sometimes you just gotta list the highlights, drop an emoticon and move on with your life: “All the Way to Reno,” “I’ll Take the Rain” Scissors
“Leaving New York” would’ve fit perfectly on Up, and that’s a complisult if I ever made one. The rest of this album isn’t just everything wrong with R.E.M. post-Automatic for the People (that is to say, amelodic, mid-tempo, technical instead of emotional and not even technically impressive in the first place, lyrically nauseating and long), it’s everything wrong with bad music in general (that is to say, generic); Around the Shit.