I’ve found myself revisiting the bands of my youth (I cracked open a Boston CD this week, for Christ’s sake. That said, “Foreplay/Long Time” is genius. Ask any Rock Band addict) and I may be geting to that age where new music just doesn’t excite me anymore. That’s okay. I don’t have to be on the cutting edge anymore to know what I like. Music may be comfort food for me at this point.
A couple of months back on my Myspace page, I wrote a long diatribe about my favorite band, R.E.M. and how I was giving them the Michael Corleone kiss off. Their last album, ACROSS THE SUN, was about as compelling as someone farting through a kazoo. Okay, that might be compelling to you, I don’t know. But hearing Michael Stipe’s granola-eating hippie stylings was just too much. I like granola and hippies (in moderation), but some things are just better left to mystery and one’s own interpretation. Back in the early days of this band, you had no idea what they were singing about, and that was what was so cool about them. Now, they’re overtly a message band, and that would be fine if I was a teenager and I still relied on my favorite artists to tell me what to think. I’m a grownup now. Now my wife tells me what to think.
Anyway, they have a new album coming out on April 1st, called ACCELERATE. It’s only 34 minutes long with 11 tracks. I’ve heard snippets of the single, “Supernatural Superserious” (and you can too at www.remhq.com if you so desire) and I like it. It’s stripped down, solid guitar rock. Stipe’s voice is out front, but this time, he sounds pissed off and there’s nary a crumb of granola on his chin to be seen. It doesn’t sound like the R.E.M. of old, but it does sound like they excised all the detritus that was clogging up their most recent albums. In short, I like what I’m hearing, and for the first time in several years I’m excited about an R.E.M. album again. Plus, they have a song on the new album called “Houston.” It’s like they knew I was leaving the ship and they decided to draw me back in.
My tastes are far less eclectic these days. I like muscular, angular music. Drive-By Truckers, Radiohead, the aforementioned Boston. I don’t have a terribly complicated musical palette. So it’s nice to hear that my favorite band’s back and they aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel. If you’ve read this and would like to shoot me some recommendations, drop me a comment or post on the message board. In the meantime, I think I’ll drop MONSTER into the CD player. Until next time!