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Old 08-07-2016, 03:04 AM   #541
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I've always loved Monster, and have never stopped. While I appreciated the sophistication of its two predecessors, the debut of What's the Frequency Kenneth? was such a relief to hear, a very welcome left turn.


Definitely stands out amongst their 90's work. Drive, How The West Was Won, and Airportman are all solid openers, but they're not exactly firecrackers. Kenneth is a real barn burner with tons of energy and is probably their 2nd most "fun" opener behind Pop Song 89.
Harborcoat is king when it comes to openers (top 5 REM song IMO) and it's very hard to beat any of the other openers from the 80's, but Kenneth is solidly in the middle of the pack.


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Old 08-07-2016, 03:04 AM   #542
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Life After R.E.M.: Discussion Thread

Monster has always sounded good to me. It's got plenty of style and a bit of substance as well. Kenneth, I Don't Sleep I Dream and Strange Currencies have always been favorites of mine. But I don't know, by the end I'm usually pretty exhausted by it because there's so little variety. There's only so much midtempo distortion + tremolo guitar rock a guy can take. Peter Buck really liked that guitar tone.

I can understand why people were disappointed by it at the time, but it is a pretty strong album. It's just a good distance behind its predecessor, which was not only musically gorgeous but boasted some of Stipe's most revealing and heartfelt lyricism. Monster tends to bury the vocals, so it's a bit less engaging on that level.
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:10 AM   #543
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What's the Frequency is one of the five best REM tracks. I've loved it since it came out.

The rest of Monster generally passes me by though. If I had to pick a second favourite it would be You.
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:18 AM   #544
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Life After R.E.M.: Discussion Thread

I have mixed, but mostly positive feelings towards Monster.
Agree with LM about Kenneth, Strange Currencies, and I Don't Sleep I Dream.
I've always admired and been amused by "Tongue". It's such a quirky little song. "King of Comedy" is probably my least favorite REM song. "Crush with Eyeliner" is very different and kinda goofy. I like "Bang and Blame" if I'm listening on shuffle, but when I listen to it with the rest of the album, it doesn't stand out much.

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Old 08-07-2016, 04:19 AM   #545
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Let Me In has always been a favourite of mine, even when other parts of the album bored me or seemed a bit samey (as I say, my views on that have evolved). Just this stunning, wall of sound thing but the melody and the sense of it is there just under the surface (also I realised recently he's probably loosely quoting Patti Smith in Birdland with 'those stars drip down like butter'). Probably one of my favourite R.E.M. songs.
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Old 08-07-2016, 04:30 AM   #546
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I swear that every music store I've been to has Monster marked down for $.99. I even saw it for $.49 the other day. Heck, I bought all of their 90's albums for less than $2 each. New Adventures in Hifi got me hooked on REM after I found it on the shelf for $.97 and bought it just for the heck of it (what a great purchase that was).


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I think I bought it for about $2 on cassette in 1996 or whenever, so that was a find. At about the same time, I grabbed Passengers for $1 in a second hand shop, again on cassette.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:27 AM   #547
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I'm just listening to Kenneth now to make sure I still don't like it, and yep. Probably a perfect encapsulation of why I can't fall in love with REM. I hate this song.
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:12 AM   #548
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Different strokes for different folks!
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:21 AM   #549
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Let Me In has always been a favourite of mine, even when other parts of the album bored me or seemed a bit samey (as I say, my views on that have evolved). Just this stunning, wall of sound thing but the melody and the sense of it is there just under the surface (also I realised recently he's probably loosely quoting Patti Smith in Birdland with 'those stars drip down like butter'). Probably one of my favourite R.E.M. songs.

It's one of Stipe's best sincere moments.

"He gathered up his loved ones and he brought them all around
To say goodbye, nice try"

That line guts me every time.


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Old 08-07-2016, 06:21 PM   #550
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Monster has extreme nostalgia value for me - it was one of the first albums I ever owned and I listened to it constantly for a year or so. And even now it holds up as one of the finest pop-alt albums from that era. Really hoping it gets a vinyl reissue in the near future.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:22 PM   #551
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Strange Currencies
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:03 PM   #552
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Life After R.E.M.: Discussion Thread

These words, "You will be mine."
These words, they haunt me, hunt me down
Catch in my throat
Make me pray
Say love's confined on Earth

Daaaaaaamn
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:51 PM   #553
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Life After R.E.M.: Discussion Thread

New Adventures in Hi Fi is 20 today. I remember buying it the day it came out. Junior year of high school. Damn I'm old.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:32 PM   #554
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New Adventures in Hi Fi is 20 today. I remember buying it the day it came out. Junior year of high school. Damn I'm old.
If you got it at Media Play in Orem, I may have ran into you! I was a freshman in college.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:05 PM   #555
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New Adventures in Hi Fi is 20 today. I remember buying it the day it came out. Junior year of high school. Damn I'm old.
That would make you an entire 2 years older than me. I was a freshman at the time. I bought it, and I remember not liking it and just ignoring it for years. I didn't really get into the album until 2003, after I saw REM live for the first time and went on a bit of an REM bender. Great album, maybe I was just a little too young and my musical appreciation was not yet fully developed.
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