Next up, we go back to 1984, to the sometimes overlooked early REM album Reckoning. This rip, from an original IRS issue I found perusing some record store somewhere…. Listening to this murky, dark, Rickenbacher chiming, classic it makes me wonder, once again, when people heard their latest release Accelerate, how they have “returned to form”, when did REM become a rock band?
It’s hard to classify what REM is or, in this case, was, I’ve heard folk rock, you hear Byrds comparisons, but I don’t get it. It’s just pop/rock, but in their own handwriting, in their own way, on their own terms, meaning such a generic labeling is unwarranted… Hmm, maybe we should have a new genre, eh? How about we just call it “REM”? Because there’s no band like them, but a few have tried a little since (I’m looking at you Colin Meloy! Have you listened to “Valencia”?)… I feel that way about every album of theirs, which is probably why I love them so much. Even when they do whip their cock out and rock out or when the lose their drummer and put out layered, textured computer-enhanced pop, it’s still obviously & decidedly REM and no one or nothing else.
And here we are at their sophomore release, in all it’s twenty-four year old glory, snap, crackles, pops, and a tiny skip here and there, but that’s okay. This record spinning on my old Pioneer has lived longer than maybe most of you have, so a few blemishes are just fine with me…Photography “Self Portrait (Reckoning)” by Tsuru
Ain’t she pretty? Amazing album, Mills’ perfect bass & harmony, Buck’s ringing guitar, Berry’s tight-ass drumming, and, of course, Stipes’ slightly more coherent mumbling… But, I don’t need to write a review do I? There are a couple hundred thousand out there already. Just grab and enjoy, alright? Let’s get to it already, as…