R.e.m. - Out Of Time
(OK, I admit, it could be that the different and, dare I say, more professional production may have an influence. But for the purposes of this review, we shall disregard that, shall we?)
R.E.M.'s Out of Time is a case in point. I have mixed feelings about this album. Some of the songs - "Shiny Happy People" and "Losing My Religion" are great and can be said to follow in the tradition of catchy R.E.M. numbers of the past. Others seem to wear me down. It is as if R.E.M. were, at this point, really struggling to come up with something in terms of new and innovative material without losing sight of the sort of stuff which had brought them this far - and by and large failing to achieve on both counts. It is not so much a case of creative compromise as creative exhaustion. Could it be that R.E.M. (as well as other bands who have "sold out" to the mainstream) have simply run out of ideas?
It is almost as if, on this album, the listener is invited in to hear the couple of good tracks on the album and, just in case there might be something else to take your fancy, to stick around and listen to the rest. The rest I have to say is mostly filler. "Near Wild Heaven" is about the only thing that is memorable out of the rest, but it not up to the level of the two tracks which stand out. "Radio Song" follows the trend of the time and uses rap and, almost predictably, as a result is probably the single worst piece on the album. Why artists choose to use the imaginary vocal talents of people who cannot even use the natural rhythm in the words to create a rhythm and instead try and bend and twist words in way which the language was never intended to be misused, to suit their fake 'beats'...maaaan...is beyond me? It has been tried several times by several different artists and has never contributed anything except to drag the track down. The two styles just do not mix.
So what, I hear you say. Well, exactly. I used to play this a lot but apart from the aforementioned tracks, I find it hard to get worked up about it now. I purchased this album not that long after I had purchased the two albums I already had of theirs on the IRS label. Sadly, I was somewhat let down by the now quite commercial outfit which had emerged. Yet I am not ready to blame R.E.M.'s record label for this change. The more I listen to this the more I feel that the responsibility lies with the band themselves.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.