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Of The North

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  1. Of The North

    Accelerate with Dave Holmes

    As a long-time R.E.M. fan who stayed with them until the very end, I love Accelerate. I love that they finally sounded and felt engaged again with the songs, that the tracks were not overproduced, and that both the songs and the entire album had some momentum. Up, Reveal and ATS were each a slog for me. Some amazing songs were on each of them, but each album as a whole felt too long with too many slow or mid-tempo songs. Living Well and Man-Sized Wreath are blistering openers - I really think Living Well should have been the lead single. I love the build and lyrics of Hollow Man. Houston is a fantastic reaction to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Horse to Water had exactly the right amount of vitriol to propel me past a shitty layoff that happened the same month the album was released. Coming at the tail end of the Bush administration, the album was what I had wanted from their 2004 release in terms of anger, calling out and speaking truth to power - the way I remembered Document, some tracks on Green and Ignoreland. While it was late, I was grateful for the energy and tone of this album.
  2. Of The North

    Accelerate with Dave Holmes

    Read this recently... interesting that Stipe chose later cuts... likely he wanted to bring attention to songs from less-loved albums. “We always wanted to make a rock record. I’m not sure we ever quite achieved that,” Stipe says. “Accelerate is a bit brittle, to my ear, but in an exciting way.” Supernatural Superserious is about personal transformation, and both the freedom and pain that comes with it. He says it’s one of his favourite REM songs – “I loved the character, I loved the narrative, I loved how fucking twisted it is” – but the album as a whole did something REM had never done before, namely respond to how the world was perceiving them. “It was a reaction to Around the Sun. I never wanted to react, but there it is, you wind up reacting.” https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/jan/18/michael-stipe-rem-not-good-rock-star-but-pretty-good-pop-star
  3. Of The North


    I can't believe Adam left off so many songs in his re-sequencing! Was intrigued to learn about the earlier preview version of the album, had not heard about that before. Reveal is where I both began to have trouble getting through an entire R.E.M. album and no longer had the time in my life to just listen to music in a devoted, uninterrupted fashion. I am not a huge fan of Imitation and Reno, Rain is too long and too repetitive - i find this is the album where Stipe begins to just repeat the one chorus line over and over, whereas he either didn't do that before, or changed up the emphasis/line-reading each time.... perhaps an effect of sonsg becoming needlessly long. I love The Lifting, I've Been High, Disappear and Chorus and the Ring. My re-sequenced Reveal: 1. The Lifting 2. I've Been High 3. All The Way To Reno 4. She Just Wants To Be 5. Beat A Drum 6. Saturn Return 7. Summer Turns To High 8. Imitation of Life 9. Disappear 10. Beachball 11. Chorus and the Ring I would likely include Fascinating on here also, but can not find a copy anywhere online.... if someone has a link to it, please share!
  4. Adam Scott has been teasing his ATS re-sequencing pretty much since the first ep of this podcast so I'm a little peeved he didn't share it with us in this episode. Over the course of this series I have become a total convert to the "re-sequencing not-so-great albums" party - loved that it has re-awoken my love for songs on Up and Reveal. While there are R.E.M. albums I don't listen to as much or songs I'm not as fond of, ATS has the distinction of being the first album with a song I could not even get all the way through from the very first listen - Make It All Okay. The droning repetition of "didn't you now" drives me bat-shit crazy and coming after The Outsiders, which I also consider a dud, I never fail to skip forward to the next song, while also feeling sad that I have to. My re-sequenced Around The Sun: 1. Final Straw 2. Leaving New York 3. Wanderlust 4. Boy in the Well 5. I Wanted to be Wrong 6. Around the Sun 7. Electron Blue 8. The Worst Joke Ever 9. Aftermath 10. High Speed Train 11. The Ascent of Man I'm still trying it out. Not sold on keeping Worst Joke in there, as I find it the weakest of the longest song trio (Joke, Train and Well).