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Radio Songs? Yes, Please!
Out Of Time - R.E.M.
Member Name: Ciaran
Out Of Time - R.E.M.
Date: 29/04/01, updated on 29/04/01 (93 review reads)
Advantages: It's REM, Losing My Religion, Country Feedback, Still popular after ten years
Disadvantages: Some songs seem to be merely filler material, only lasts 45 minutes (we want more!)
Out Of Time was REM's seventh studio album (and second under Warner Bros) and to this day remains one of my favourites. In its armoury is possibly the single greatest song of all time, Losing My Religion.
The album is quieter and has a more folky feel than their predecessing album, Green, reaching back to some of their first albums under the IRS label.
The album opens with 'Radio Song', featuring guest vocals by KRS-1. The song can be immediately recognised as a statement against the utter crap that was (and still is today) constantly on the radio. "Now our children grow up prisoners, all their life radio listeners."
The song isn't the best the band have ever produced, and all memory is erased as Peter Buck's mandolin signals the introduction of 'Losing My Religion'. This is a very moody song and a classic of modern music. I've often noticed that the song can either seem to be playing very quickly and furiously, or slower and moodier, almost depending on my own mood at the time. I absolutely love it.
Following that are the slow, depressing 'Low' and the almost cheery 'Near Wild Heaven' with lead vocals by Mike Mills. Thinking back on this song it seems almost impossible that Michael Stipe could have done a better job himself. We then hear the instrumental 'Endgame' and following that is 'Shiny Happy People' - possibly the band's most hated song ever. Nonetheless, I do find it a fun song to listen to on certain occasions, though others times it does nothing but annoy me. Mills himself said that while Shiny Happy people is a good song, it's not something you'd want to be remembered for. And why should they be, havng produced much better songs over their 20 year career?
Next up is 'Belong', a song which for some reason reeks of "filler" whenever I play it. It's still a good song anyway, and leads on to 'Half A Worl
d Away', a soft folky song that relaxes the listener for three and a half minutes. 'Texarkana' follows, and almost appears to be a rocky song in contrast to the one which came before, though still very folky.
Next is 'Country Feedback', a song which would easily have been the album's best if not for 'Losing My Religion'. Like 'Low' it can seem to be depressing, but whenever listened to carefully it reveals itself to be a beautifully crafted work of art. Mostly likely too good to have been a single as there's no justice in the music world.
The album then comes to a close with 'Me In Honey', a song that doesn't really strike any sort of chord with the listener, though at the end you're left wanting more.
Out Of Time is an amazing album, but unfortunately it does appear to have a few too many fillers out of the eleven. As REM's breakthrough album though, it is a piece of music history and almost a necessity for anybody's CD collection.