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Old 10-28-2010, 08:21 PM   #166
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We all have different tastes. For me, personally, to have a long-lasting and perennial interest in a given musical artist, it helps if the artist is musically diverse. By musically, I do not mean lyrically, which seems to be the main criterion BVS is referencing.

I'm not even sure U2 are that diverse, in that they are somewhat limited instrumentally and tend to play chords and song-structures that are fairly standard. Perhaps what distinguishes U2 in terms of diversity is (a) Bono's superior vocals and (b) the Edge's odd style and guitar distortioned sounds. In the case of R.E.M., I would generally argue that nearly all their songs follow familiar song-structures and the styles and textures of established folk-rock.

Perhaps in mentioning "sexy", I expressed myself poorly -- what I'm really thinking of is swing: the "roll" in rock and roll. By this standard, I think R.E.M. are somewhat weak.

As with U2, I think some of R.E.M.'s more "experimental" moments are more the results of technological amplification than musical growth. For example, the Monster album is not really any louder or more rockin' than, say, Life's Rich Pageant. It just sounds louder due to production work. I do concur that New Adventures in Hi-Fi is their most "diverse" record.

In any case, I don't see where R.E.M. are comparable to people like Van Morrison (blues/R&B/jazz), Sting (jazz, new wave, weird time signatures), or Prince (everything) in terms of musical diversity. But that's not to say they suck -- they are (or were) one of my favorite groups.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:34 PM   #167
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(a) Bono's superior vocals and
says you. he can wail a bit and emote with the best of them, but he's always had a very limited range and as of late it's pretty clear his voice is deteriorating with age.

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(b) the Edge's odd style and guitar distortioned sounds.
had more to say, but i'm done with making this a u2 vs. rem discussion. fuck that shit. next we'll be comparing bass players.

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Perhaps in mentioning "sexy", I expressed myself poorly -- what I'm really thinking of is swing: the "roll" in rock and roll. By this standard, I think R.E.M. are somewhat weak.
yeah, just your opinion. i'm a little obsessed with the sidewinder sleeps tonight right now, and that thing has more swagger than...well, a shitload of stuff. is it the same kind of swagger as...well, other than u2 i don't know what else you like. and to be honest, i'm still not completely sure i understand (or find it to be relevant) what you're saying


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As with U2, I think some of R.E.M.'s more "experimental" moments are more the results of technological amplification than musical growth. For example, the Monster album is not really any louder or more rockin' than, say, Life's Rich Pageant. It just sounds louder due to production work
no. one word. reverb. on like half the tracks. so you're kind of right, but still off the mark. that didn't get added in studio later, that's how the songs were played. but isn't trying out different sounds the definition of trying to grow musically? i didn't want to go here, but if i say u2 grew musically in the difference between r&h and AB, you're going to agree when a big chunk of how they "grew" was based off sound effects.

i don't know. lately i'm less impressed with "diversity" in sound, and putting out an album miles different from your last album for the sake of so-called musical growth. it's not even from an "oh they sold out now" standpoint, which sometimes becomes the case in those arguments. murmer sounds nothing like reveal (thank fucking god, because the former is great and the latter sucked ass).
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:40 PM   #168
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By musically, I do not mean lyrically, which seems to be the main criterion BVS is referencing.
You should learn to read ALL of people's post... just a little hint on life.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:43 PM   #169
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You should learn to read ALL of people's post... just a little hint on how to take multiple-choice option tests.

that as well
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:15 PM   #170
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:13 AM   #171
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All right BVS, let's break down your (entire) post:

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Not diverse? That's crazy talk...
Okay, I didn't say they're not diverse or sadly inadequate in diversity. I would say R.E.M. -- due to their artistic integrity and sheer longevity -- have been more diverse than a hell of a lot of rock bands. But they aren't particularly diverse, and they certainly aren't anywhere near the artists I mentioned earlier.

Think of it this way -- when U2 shifted sounds somewhat in 1991, it was a huge success. When R.E.M. attempted something similar in 1994, it was not very successful because, so I think, they weren't very good at playing the kind of music they wanted to at that time. R.E.M. strike me as more the type of group who make a beautiful sound and do what they do very, very well. The mainstream audience will drift in and out of their orbit, but I don't think R.E.M. have the musical ability to change styles large-scale and then carry a mass audience along with them, the way that, say, The Beatles or (to a lesser extent) U2 have done.

Basically, they're southern gentleman who play folk-rock.

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They've been able to swing from humor to real sentiment to politics probably better than any band I know.
That's about lyrics.

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They've dabbled in punk, country, electro, rock...
First, "dabbled" hardly merits successfully proving that you can pull off different styles. But in any case, "country" and "rock" are both covered in folk-rock, so I agree with you there. "Punk"...? You'd have to tell me what R.E.M. period sounds like punk (in any case, I don't consider punk a musical genre -- it's just basic rock and roll). As for "electro"...? Well, I'll grant that they did dabble in this a bit on Up, but nothing to write home about. Old farts like Paul McCartney have them beat in electronic music productions.

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Great pop songs, interesting instrumentals, "experimental" pieces.
Agree that they write great pop songs. Occasionally interesting instrumentals, but that's hardly outside the folk-rock box. Where you lose me is with "experimental" pieces.
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:24 AM   #172
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Okay, I didn't say they're not diverse or sadly inadequate in diversity.
Yes you did, bro:

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However, I still say they're not diverse or sexy.
And why are you arguing this? What's the point? What are you trying to prove?
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:26 AM   #173
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says you. he can wail a bit and emote with the best of them, but he's always had a very limited range and as of late it's pretty clear his voice is deteriorating with age.
Yeah, I'm talking about "U2" in totality, not just right now. Remember, we're talking about a 30+ year history here?

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had more to say, but i'm done with making this a u2 vs. rem discussion. fuck that shit. next we'll be comparing bass players.
I was not attempting any such comparison. (But since you jokingly brought it up, Mike Mills pisses all over Adam.)

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yeah, just your opinion. i'm a little obsessed with the sidewinder sleeps tonight right now, and that thing has more swagger than...well, a shitload of stuff.
I'll agree with that -- that track does swing.

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is it the same kind of swagger as...well, other than u2 i don't know what else you like.
Again, understand that I love R.E.M. I just don't think they're particularly diverse, especially as compared to several other of my favorite artists.

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and to be honest, i'm still not completely sure i understand (or find it to be relevant) what you're saying
I'm not saying anything -- just having an interesting chat.

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...but isn't trying out different sounds the definition of trying to grow musically?
It could be, yes. To be more clear, I'm specifically talking about musical ability as played by the musicians on their instruments. I don't think many professional musicians, schooled at Juilliard or wherever, put on an R.E.M. album and say, "Wow! What was that obscure jazz chord?!"

We may just be interpreting "musically" in different ways. You're quite right that Peter Buck has occasionally tried to draw up different sounds on the guitar, for example.

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i didn't want to go here, but if i say u2 grew musically in the difference between r&h and AB, you're going to agree when a big chunk of how they "grew" was based off sound effects.
To some extent, I do think that. But c'mon -- the change in U2's sound from 1980 to 1988 is pretty clear. For example, just in Bono's voice alone.

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i don't know. lately i'm less impressed with "diversity" in sound, and putting out an album miles different from your last album for the sake of so-called musical growth.
I get what you're saying. Again, I'm thinking of this a bit differently -- I'm not necessarily impressed by making every album miles different from the last; what I am impressed by is music artists who can play a vast range of styles because they have that musical ability. I mean, if you listen to The Beatles' White Album or Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life, I might argue there's more diversity in those single records than the entire R.E.M. canon of 27 years.
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:30 AM   #174
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Yes you did, bro:
Okay, I did. Thanks for policing and playing 'gotcha'. Hopefully, my subsequent posts have clarified my position.

If they haven't, let me put it this way:

R.E.M. = more diverse than Bryan Adams or Oasis.

R.E.M. = less diverse than Van Morrison, The Beatles, Prince, Stevie Wonder
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:44 AM   #175
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Nothing personal, but your manner of posting is so tiresome. Can you go back to EYKIW now, please?
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:47 AM   #176
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Nothing personal, but your manner of posting is so tiresome. Can you go back to EYKIW now, please?
I'm actually thinking of retiring myself from this entire forum -- the people like you make it unbearable and give a bad name to U2 fans.
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:50 AM   #177
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I'm actually thinking of retiring myself from this entire forum
Please do. I will shed a single, solitary tear. And then I will forget you ever existed.

Sayonara!
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:52 AM   #178
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Enough of the arguing guys. Agree to disagree and move on.
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:53 AM   #179
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Nothing personal, but your manner of posting is so tiresome. Can you go back to EYKIW now, please?
it's not the manner that bothers me, it's the complete ignorance and clearly misinformed opinions.

but shush, GAF, we must stop desecrating the sacred name that is bono...or something.


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Old 10-29-2010, 02:11 AM   #180
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it's not the manner that bothers me, it's the complete ignorance and clearly misinformed opinions.

but shush, GAF, we must stop desecrating the sacred name that is bono...or something.


It's appropriate that this idiotic post is the final one I'll respond to on this embarrasingly bad forum. No one -- least of all me -- has treated Bono (or anyone) as sacred in the recent part of this 'chat'. What I was attempting was a conversation about our respective opinions on a great band, R.E.M. As usual when BVS is involved, what I discovered is that my effort at making some actual thought-out posts in an attempt to stimulate discussion ended in a gang-up on the poster who has the least popular opinion -- the 'schoolyard bully' form of Internet discussion -- showing again what a juvenile crowd this forum attracts.
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