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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > R.E.M.

MUSIC REVIEWS

R.E.M.-Monster (Warner Brothers)

This record could be called R.E.M. Replugged.  After the acoustic ruminations of Out of Time and Automatic For the People, the band comes back with guitars blazing on a this-ain't-no-folk album.  Monster hails back to R.E.M.'s early work; even Michael Stipe's vocals retreat into the swirl of sound.

The band opens up with "What's The Frequency, Kenneth?," a feedback-laden rocker with a surreal storyline (the title refers to what a crazy man once yelled while attacking newsman Dan Rather.)  Other songs thrash out with unbridled anger, like "Crush with Eyeliner" (which is supposedly about Courtney Love) and "Circus Envy." 

This is not to imply R.E.M. has completely given up the acoustic ballads, like the falsetto-laden "Tongue," but songs of this ilk are all pointedly bunched together in the middle of the LP.  Monster is another fascinating musical right turn from a band that refuses to live down to expectations.  (11/94)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 1994 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.  Revised: January 31, 2016.

 

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Copyright 1994 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.  Revised: January 31, 2016.