2003CC: R.E.M.

  • Murmur (83): *****
  • Automatic for the People (92): *****
  • Document (87): *****

  • Eponymous (88): ****
  • Reckoning (84): ****

  • Out of Time (91): *** 1/2
  • Life's Rich Pageant (86): *** 1/2
  • Reveal (01): *** 1/2

  • Fables of the Reconstruction (85): ***
  • Green (88): ***
  • New Adventures in Hi-Fi (96): ***
  • Up (98): ***

  • Monster (94): ** 1/2
Author Comments: 

This is a new entry in an up-dated series I'm calling the New Critical Consensus. Several people have requested updates of the older series, and since critical opinions shift, I am revamping the entire system. I am averaging the opinions of several excellent music critics to produce a list of each artist's albums. Rather than using a number system, which was perhaps a bit clunky, I will now be using a five-star system. The albums will be listed in a recommended purchasing order, so new fans will have an idea of where the best place to start buying an artist's work is.
These are not my opinions, although, since I have chosen the critics used (and I'm using many), my taste will perhaps seep through a bit.

Terribly nerdy, I know, but maybe this will help people only now beginning to dabble into certain artists' bodies of work.


***** - Masterpiece
**** 1/2 - Classic
**** - Great
*** 1/2 - Good
*** - Above Average
** 1/2 - Average
** - Below Average
* 1/2 - Bad
* - Terrible
1/2 - One of the worst albums ever

Seeing this list reminds me that I've been toying with posting a "favorite bands" list. I don't think I'm ready to do that today, but more and more I've been thinking that REM would snag the top spot on such a list. Their music is catchy and yet it has legs, it is consistently good-to-excellent across a fairly broad stylistic range, and is musically and lyrically interesting (well, those lyrics that are decipherable anyway :-). And REM is one of a very small handful of bands that I've never tired of and shelved for an extended period. Anyway, thanks for the list!

No problem! Thanks for the comments; REM is certainly a great band. Me, I personally would have moved Out of Time on up this list, but alas, that would be out of bounds for this series... :(

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I'd move Out of Time up too. It's actually one of my favorites by them.

Yeah, my favorite two are Murmur and Automatic, but Out of Time might well be my third. Sadly, its critical reputation of late has been one slippery slope.

Ah, well. Time itself will no doubt correct this at some point.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I have a hard time with Monster being average or a bit below it. Songs like "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" and "Crush with Eyeliner" rank among my very favorite R.E.M. tunes.

Wow, we had a pretty huge discussion on this one earlier. For what it is worth, you're not alone!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs