R.E.M. - Monster

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Warner Bros
Catalog Number: 73949
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:31:00

I bought Monster when it came out in 1994. I listened once and then let it collect dust. I did not get it. Well, now I have another opportunity to understand this phenomenal band and this outstanding album. Believe me, R.E.M. is not a cut and dried band nor is their sound. This particular album rocks down the house, just as the band said it would in the documentary of the Automatic For The People set.

It took around three listens to get it this time around. I heard diversity in their rockin? tunes yet a common thread with the sound. The guitar effects very similar to the fuzzy 60s feedback sound that is so prominent on cuts like ?What's The Frequency, Kenneth?? and ?Bang And Blame? seem to dominate. ?Crush With Eyeliner? is one of the most intense tracks that this band has ever recorded, hands down, then ?Tongue? sounds like something Daryl Hall and John Oates would have done. It features the Philadelphia sound and feel. It sounds as if it should have been on an entirely different album; then again, ?King Of Comedy? is very different, but very good.

I think this is one the band's finest hours, the more I hear this album the more I believe it to be so. This is a brilliant band and it was very smart to re-release all of these albums so a new generation could discover their music and understand how important they were, and continue to be, in the development of modern music.

As the title of the album indicates, R.E.M. was a Monster band at the time. To watch the band play this music on the documentary DVD-A was goose bump time, a taste of what the tour must have been like. I learned that Mike Mills played Kurt Cobain?s guitar on the in tribute to him ?Let Me In.? The six-string was a gift from Courtney Cox. I imagine most R.E.M. fans knew this but I am what you would call a late blooming fan at this point, and glad for it. Rock music was at a pinnacle in 1994 because of this album and I did not even know it, at least now I do know.

Originally released 1994 (45740)

[My reaction was quite different. I, too, bought this when it was released and couldn't stop listening to it. -ed.]

What's The Frequency, Kenneth? (4:00) / Crush With Eyeliner (4:38) / King Of Comedy (3:41) / I Don't Sleep, I Dream (3:28) / Star 69 (3:08) / Strange Currencies (3:53) / Tongue (4:13)/ Bang and Blame (5:30) / I Took Your Name (4:03) / Let Me In (3:28) / Circus Envy (4:15) / You (4:54)

Bill Berry - drums
Peter Buck - guitar
Mike Mills - bass
Michael Stipe - vocals

with: Bertis Downs, Jefferson Holt

Guests: Sally Dworski, Thurston Moore

Murmur (1983)
Reckoning (1984)
Fables Of The Reconstruction (1985)
Lifes Rich Pageant (1986)
Document (1987)
Dead Letter Office (1987)
Green (1988)
Eponymous (1988)
Out Of Time (1991)
The Very Best Of R.E.M. (1991) Automatic For The People (1992/2005)
Live Singles Box (1992)
Fan Box Set (1992)
Singles Box (1993)
B-Sides Box (1994)
Singles Collected (1994)
Monster (1994/2005)
The Originals (1995)
The Automatic Box (1995)
New Adventures In Hi-Fi (1996)
In The Attic: Alternative Recordings 1985-1989 (1997)
Up (1998)
The Best Of R.E.M. (1998)
Reveal (2001)
20 Years Of R.E.M. (2001)
Document/Life's Rich Pageant (2003)
In Time (1988-2003): The Best of R.E.M. (2003)
Around The Sun (2004)
In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003 Rareties & B-Sides (2006)
And I Feel Fine?: The Best Of The I.R.S. Years 1982-1987 (2006)
R.E.M. Live (2007)
Accelerate (2008)
Live From London (2008)
Collection (2008)
Green/Monster (2008)
Live At The Olympia (2009)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: March 29th 2005
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website: www.remhq.com
Hits: 810
Language: english


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