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All-Reviews.com Music Review
Monster

music reviewmusic reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4

All-Reviews.com Music Review: Monster

Artist: R.E.M.
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release Date: September 1994
Note(s): Nominated for a 1995 Grammy for Best Rock Album


Review by LarryG
4 stars out of 4

At the time, they said they were looking for songs that would sound good on their first tour in a while but it also seems clear that REM made Monster to show they weren't just the kings of jangly folk rock but could also rock hard. Peter Buck's easy mastery of power chords made it clear that he's one of the best and most inventive guitarists of our time. What's the Frequency, Kenneth? has to be one of the best rock songs of the 90's. Using the line spoken to Dan Rather during a bizarre assault as a starting point, the lyrics are a typical disjointed Stipe narrative of dissatisfaction but the music packs a wallop. Star 69 is breathless, exhilarating rock with fast playing and fun ooh-ooh-oohs. Let Me In, mainly Stipe's voice and a rawly strummed electric guitar, is a suitably stark and moving tribute to Kurt Cobain. Even seeming throwaway rockers like Circus Envy work. There's also more traditional REM fare. Strange Currencies, bares an unmistakable musical resemblence to Everybody Hurts but the power chords and Stipe's singing still resonate. Tongue is a sweet keyboard based ballad. REM's best works are still their mellower mid-80's records, like Murmur and Life's Rich Pagent, which influenced dozens of college radio bands. They made strong albums in the 90's, Out Of Time and especially the mostly subdued Automatic for the People. But Monster is probably their best of the 90's, a great band showing they know how to rock.

Here's what others reviewers have to say:

"...this is its most implacable --and convincing--music since MURMUR....Even as MONSTER flirts with unreason and breaks down old taboos, it observes the strict protocols of the forms it plays havoc with..." Highly Recommended   Spin 11/94, p.91

"...the band hasn't really changed at all: the songs still stress melody over meaning, the playing still emphasizes the unit over the individuals, and the sound remains as fresh as it was a dozen years ago..." Musician 11/94, p.91

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