Thursday, March 29, 2012

R.E.M. - Fables of the Reconstruction

R.E.M. – Fables of the Reconstruction
I.R.S., 1985
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2010
Price: $2

Oh yeah! I forgot I had this R.E.M. album too. Sadly, I still don’t get it. It’s like when I was 16 and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot had just come out to rave reviews and I was just starting to get into music-music and I just for the life of me did not understand Wilco not one bit. Then a few years later it all clicked and they became my favorite band until I converted to GBV. Maybe that will happen with R.E.M., I don’t know, but I find it incredibly hard to find elements that make them compelling outside of the fact that they were pioneering this sound. But it’s ancient history. Sure there’s influences a-dozen, a-million even, but the music feels flat out of context. For me, at least, but I have no context. I don’t know why I feel such guilt about thinking R.E.M. is boring. It’s like some sort of fake credibility gauge in my brain that says I have to at least appreciate what R.E.M. was doing, and I do I do I do, but there’s this other part that says I have to like it and I know that’s not true. And maybe this is all something that will be rectified when I do this “Guided Tour of R.E.M.” thing and listen to their output album by album. Maybe that’ll manufactures some artificial context that is impossible for me to have organically. Fables of the Reconstruction is only an album removed from Murmur, and it sounds so much more advanced, like the progress that this band makes is exponential and I can see how that kept them pioneers and such. And I don’t hate it. The second half was more pleasant than the seemingly dark and brooding first (“Green Grow the Rushes” is extra pleasant right now). And I suppose “Driver 8” is a pretty rock solid jam, even though I’d never be like “Oh man I wanna listen to ‘Driver 8.’” Just one of those songs that if it came on I wouldn’t change the station. I just hope I can revisit this post later and be all “Pff what the fuck was I talking about this record is the JAM.”

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