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Shiny, Happy, Brilliant
Out Of Time - R.E.M.
Member Name: Going To California
Out Of Time - R.E.M.
Date: 31/07/00, updated on 31/07/00 (51 review reads)
Advantages: a stepping-stone from late 80s to early/late 90s REM. brought the band world acclaim. Contians some of REM's finest moments
Disadvantages: there really are few if any disadvantages with Out of Time
Out of Time is one of REM's centrepiece albums, and with good cause. The album, recorded in 1991, shows a wide range of REM's musical styles and what makes it even more phenomenal is that Out Of Time still gained massive recognition despite the early 1990s grunge movement that dominated American record sales and culture. The very fact that tracks like Losing My Religion or Shiny Happy People could peak at the top of the charts in competition with the teenage angst manifestation of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam etc. shows how strong the album really is.
REM, by their own admission, come from a Southern background which developed on folk music to a large extent. This can best be heard on Out Of Time from Near Wild Heaven, Endgame, and Half A World Away, which both reveal sides of REM more commonly associated with their earlier 'art college' music heard on such albums as Eponymous.
At the same time though, REM see themselves pushing more towards a new sound on Out Of Time, and tracks like Losing My Religion, Belong, Shiny Happy People, and Radio Song show a band about to make it really big with a really big sound. Losing My Religion went on to become one of REM's biggest (I think maybe even THE biggest) songs of their career, as it dominated the American record industry and still remains immensely popular and famous even today. Shiny Happy People, by Mike Mills' admission, was not a song REM wished to be remembered for, but the catchy pop melody turned out to be another massive success; something the band did not intend when they recorded it with B-52's singer Kate Pierson (who appears on other tracks throughout the album.
What is impressive about Out Of Time is that you can almost sense a definite maturity that has grown in the band since their late 1980's releases (such as Green in 1988). Whilst some songs like Near Wild Heaven echo back to the early music, Out Of Time is definitely a stepping stone
in REM's career, and shows the transition from small but popular Georgian band to huge world stars with Out OF Time and the albums that would follow. It is a must for any REM fan, and deserves to be owned by anybody who listens to any music whatsoever. A brilliant album, one of REM best.
Tracklist: Radio Song, Losing My Religion, Low, Near Wild Heaven, Endgame, Shiny Happy People, Belong, Half A World Away, Texarkana, Country Feedback, Me In Honey