I have always liked REM, but for me they are a little to POP. Some of their music lacks the edge I tend to enjoy in music. However this album ‘New adventures in Hi-Fi changes all that! They are like a new band, heavy rock, loud guitars, aggressive lyrics, very un REM. That’s why I love it so!! So as usual here is what I think of each song.
1. How the west was won and where it got us – An unusual song to start. Some strange words and weird music, quite a slow song and when I first heard this I wondered if had made an error in judgment buying this! 7/10
2. The Wake-up Bomb – BANG!!! Album explodes into life! Loud guitars fast beat, everything I love in a song. ‘Practice my T-Rex moves and cause a scene’. Typical of the edgy lyrics in this awesome song! 9/10
3. New Test Leper – ‘I cant say I love Jesus, that would be a hollow claim. He did make some observations and I quote em every day’. I love this opening line. Not really a heavy rock song like the last, still a really good one though. 8/10
4. Undertow – Starts of quite slow with lots of background static, then really kicks into gear in the chorus. Powerful music here from REM. 8/10
5. E-Bow the Letter – They released this as a single and I wasn’t really that keen. Think it sounds really morbid. Still a very moving song though. 7/10
6. Leave – I love this song. Featured in the soundtrack for ‘a life less ordinary’. For the first minute there is a simple gentle acoustic riff playing. Then suddenly all hell breaks loose. Same riff played with heavy distortion and sirens in the back ground. Amazing! Some powerful lyrics as well, brilliant! 10/10
7. Departure – Heavy rock and awesome rhythm, fast paced music at its best! 9/10
8. Bittersweet me – This one is a little slower, but it still packs a punch. ‘I’d sooner chew my leg off, than me trapped in this with you’. I love that line, shows the real passion Stipe puts into his words! 9/10
9. Be Mine – A lovely little song, heavy guitar but strangely chilling 8/10
10. Binky the doormat – Another really good solid song. Loud and angry. Awesome stuff. 8/10
11. Zither – Strange little instrumental 7/10
12. So fast, so numb – Banging drums starts this off and then it lauches into full on rock! Another song I love, ‘You say that, you hate it, you want to re-create it’! Brilliant! 9/10
13. Low Desert – Slower song still with heavy guitars. Not my fav but still a song I am happy listening to. 8/10
14. Electrolite – This last song is more what you expect from the band. Pleasent music and tame lyrics. A nice end to the album, but is funny that the last word you can use to describe the rest of the album is nice. A strange on to finish on, reminds me of ‘Nightswimming’. 7/10
Overall this is one of my all time favourite albums. I have a lot of other REM albums and none of them come close to this one! If you want something a bit different, buy this!