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JulyDiaz

Document

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Adam Scott Aukerman welcome everyone back as they discuss R.E.M.’s fifth studio album, Document. They’ll talk about eyes, what R.E.M. stands for, and Adam’s old tie-dye business at 15 years old before diving into the 1987 album. Plus, they chat about Adam’s alternate universe life in another episode of “Talkin’ Bout Other Timelines.”

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Gotta say that while I liked this album a lot the first go-around, it really doesn't hold up for me. Forgot about the terrible drum sound/reverb on "Lightnin Hopkins" and really was not feeling the fake funk on "Exhuming McCarthy".

 

Having said that, the ep was still awesome, esp Adam's reaction to Scott positing that he liked "Romance" over the entire Document album.

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I've always loved Document a lot, it's such a strange bunch of songs. Especially for a record that kicked a band up a level, some of these songs are f-ing weird. I gotta respect that and do. I probably fall in between Adam and Scott on how much I like it, as I recognize it's weak bits (the stuff Drakkar above and Scott mentioned), but also generally really like the closing tracks (King Of Birds especially is my lowkey favorite). I don't mind the Lightnin Hopkins drums, esp. as a one-time thing. Oddfellows has some crappy lyrics. But there's plenty here that I LOVE.

 

My rankings so far (no EPs)

1. Fables Of The Reconstruction

2. Murmur

3. Reckoning

4. Document

5. Lifes Rich Pageant

 

Really enjoyed this episode too (as always), their opinions of the album were different enough which made it interesting. Looking forward to having some special guests join in though!

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I sorta get more of a Pop Song 89 vibe from exhuming McCarthy, rather than Stand. But maybe it's a structure thing.

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Put some production in their REM comeback song:

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I sorta get more of a Pop Song 89 vibe from exhuming McCarthy, rather than Stand. But maybe it's a structure thing.

 

Yeah, esp with the power chords vs riff (for "Stand"). Most definitely.

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My track by track rundown:

Side one – "Page side"

  • "Finest Worksong" – Good slow groovin rocker with great bass work and vocals by Mills. The horn version sounds super cheesy to me now but I liked it back then. This song has real funk as opposed to the fake funk of "McCarthy."
  • "Welcome to the Occupation" – One of the lamest intros ever, imho. Also very heavyhanded lyrics. Not one of my favorites, very plodding to me.
  • "Exhuming McCarthy" – Also not so great. The faux-funk is painful to listen to now. Lyrically also heavyhanded.
  • "Disturbance at the Heron House" – Great riff (even if it is recycled). A stone cold classic.
  • "Strange" (Bruce Gilbert, Graham Lewis, Colin Newman, Robert Grey) – OK cover, def not super faithful to the original.
  • "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" – Stone cold classic, backing harmony melodies are awesome, good electric guitar work and drumming. Very skankworthy song.

Side two – "Leaf side"

  • "The One I Love" – SCC. Great showcase of Stipe making the same verse words sound different each time with pauses, delivery, etc.
  • "Fireplace" – I like it, but the "crazy world/crazy times" lyric seem a bit basic for Stipe.
  • "Lightnin' Hopkins" – Boo. Like a Tom Waits dance remix.
  • "King of Birds" – I liked it then and I like it now. Reminds me of "Time After Time" in a way (which I like).
  • "Oddfellows Local 151" – Boo.

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My ranking of the songs:

 

1. It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)

2. The One I Love

3. Finest Worksong

4. Exhuming McCarthy

5. King of Birds

6. Disturbance at the Heron House

7. Welcome to the Occupation

8. Lightnin' Hopkins

9. Oddfellows Local 151

10. Strange

11. Fireplace

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So there was a band called Servotron. Its conceit was that the band members dressed up as and pretended to be robots working to overthrow and destroy humanity to usher in a glorious period where robots reigned instead.

 

And they did a great cover of "Finest Worksong". The song was subtly changed to become an anthem of mechanical uprising and throwing off of shackles. Oh man, do I love it. That link is to iTunes (you can also buy it on Amazon Music). It's the best 99 cents you can spend.

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