Sunday, March 06, 2011

REMRing's got a lot to learn

It seems my sparring partner, Eric, despite his stated dislike for the soon-to-be-released R.E.M. album, Collapse Into Now, is far more excited about it than I am.

How do I know this? Somehow he managed to skip ahead and write track reviews for All The Best, Everyday Is Yours To Win, Walk It Back, the video for Uberlin and the song Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter before I could get around to responding to even his first post, let alone listen to the latter track enough to remember its name (I had to copy and paste it from his site).

Eric, I implore you, sit back, take a deep breath, enjoy a White Sox spring training loss and a nice slice of deep-dish pizza (I need a recommendation for my upcoming trip, by the way), and relax. The blogosphere can survive a few hours without you.

Anyway, as a result of your verbal barrage, I am forced to condense my response into a single post. Here goes:

Dearest fellow R.E.M. enthusiast,

Let's take your rarely lucid points one by one:

1. All The Best: A broken (tick tock) clock is right twice a day, as they say, and since there are two tracks on this album that do nothing for me, All The Best and Walk It Back, you come off like a fine piece of precision Swiss craftsmanship here. The song is filler, little more, and while it doesn't tarnish their legacy, it likely won't get many spins from this diehard fan.

2. Everyday Is Yours To Win: It really surprises me that you like this song as much as you do. Still, your clear inability to form reasonable opinions of new R.E.M. songs has grown to near-epic proportions, so I'll once again have to humor you with a response. You're right, Everyday Is Yours To Win is one of the best songs on the album. And yet it still has some of its corniest lines (the aforementioned tick tock, plus cherry pie and I've got a bridge for you). Where on other songs, that would immediately disqualify it from your esteem, you're willing to look past it, accept it for what it is, and enjoy it. With all due respect, why can't you fucking do that with the rest of the album? Your mysteries are vast (though not at all intriguing).

3. Walk It Back: I don't hate it as much as you do -- the music itself is decent enough. But yes, Stipe is no longer a deep, nuanced lyricist. Again, you'd hate this song a whole lot less if you could accept that. Still, I'm not gonna fight you here. Stipe mailed this one in, so why shouldn't I follow suit?

4. The video for Uberlin: I really like the song, and the video is fine. Does anyone even give a crap about music videos anymore? As long as it doesn't result in the band facing criminal prosecution (snuff film, kiddie porn, terroristic threats), I really don't care much either way. That being said, I was taken aback by your claim that the R.E.M. fan community loathes it. Why? At worst it's simply forgettable (perhaps a valid criticism of the record as a whole), but after a couple views I think it's just good fun.

5. A_A_A_A: There a few songs on CiN that, while they may not be essential R.E.M., simply rawk. This is one of them. Peaches is great, and Stipe sounds like he's woken up after a nice 3:24 nap. While, yes, the lyrics are nonsensical, this is a prime example of a song you should be praising. What group of 50-somethings still make music that sounds this alive? #Winning.

Okay, I think we're caught up. If not, my dinner's ready anyway so feel free to continue your assault on the the Internet's collective intelligence.

1 comment:

Brononymous said...

My balls smell like honey, Marrone.