Wednesday, February 04, 2004

#82) R.E.M. - Murmur (released in 1983, I bought a copy on cassette back in 7th grade, when I lived in Bloomington, Indiana. Hell if I can remember which store.)

My opinion of this album hasn't changed during the decade plus that I've owned it. All that's changed is that I've since heard over 75 albums that I like even more and instead of describing it as the most amazingly beautiful best music ever except for "We Walk" and "West Of The Fields," I'd describe it as gorgeous psychedelic folk disco except for "We Walk" and "West Of The Fields." Abstract and beguiling while danceable and warm (they even knock out their first classic probably-about-romance ballad "Perfect Circle"), Murmur went to #36 on the pop charts. That astonishes me today, especially since every new full-length has charted even higher (remember that Pavement, possibly the biggest indie band of the '90s, never got past #70 during its entire career). The most (lyrically) cryptic post-punk I've ever heard just happens to be the most commercially successful, not to mention the first I ever appreciated. It seems absurd now, but when I got this I really didn't see it as being that different from something like Out Of Time - it was R.E.M. and I loved it. Here's some earlier thoughts I've written up about the album.

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