R.E.M. Accelerates


It has come to my attention that recently I have become overly agitated. I’ve tried to get past my irritability, but for some reason, I can’t seem to shake it. I’ve even thought that, once I get a little money saved up, I might even try a little therapy to get me back on the right track. As I often say, I feel off center with my life.

Oddly enough, many things that have been tossing around in my head over the past few years have come to light in one of the most unusual places…the latest R.E.M. CD.

First off, this is, by far, the best thing that R.E.M. has put out since “New Adventures In Hi Fi”. After a few more listens, I might even compare this to “Reckoning”, which many can argue is their best album ever. It rocks and it rolls! Guitars are slamming, organs are flying, drums are pounding. Michael Stipe is back in form, his distinct howling back where it was in the 80’s. That being said, the lyrics of this album are what grab me from the start. Normally R.E.M. is a highly political band, but these lyrics hit so close to home, I was blindsided!

“Living Well Is The Best Revenge” takes on modern day religion. Stipe sings…”Don’t turn your talking points on me, history will set me free, the future is ours and you don’t even rate a footnote.”

In “Man-Sized Wreath”…”Turn on the tv, what do I see? a pageantry of empty gestures all lined up for me, wow. I’d have thought by now we would be ready to proceed but a tearful hymn to tug the heart and a man-sized wreath. Oww.”

“Accelerate”…”sinking fast, the weights chained to my feet. no time to argue with belief. I’m not alone, a thousand others dropping faster tthan me. what put me here, nothing to hold onto, nowhere to brake.”

“Until The Day Is Done” tackles hatred and racism…”a voice whispers “son”, the blessed vision comes. what have I done? what have I done? so hold tight your babies and your guns. forgive us our trespasses. father and son.”

“Horse To Water”…you’re only as big as your battles. rattle my cage with your shadow. I’m a bantamweight with a moutful of feathers. don’t you know what comes around goes around. I’m not that easy. I am not your horse to water. I hold my breath. I come around, round, round.”

My favorite song is “Hollow Man”. I’m going to post the entire song at the bottom because it has so much to say, sadly, about where I am right now. I feel a little lost, and I don’t think I’m the only one. I’m not going to preach in this blog because it’s unnecessary. However I feel that along with all the technology, we have lost touch. We aren’t neighbors anymore, we’re strangers. I’m angry about it. But I’m not gonna preach about it.

Anyway, R.E.M. is back in a big way, and we need them. Thanks guys! Nice to see you back and in great form!

“Hollow Man” by R.E.M. (from “Accelerate”)
I’ve been lost inside my head,
Echoes fall off me.
I took the prize last night for complicatedness
For saying things I didn’t
mean and don’t believe.

Believe in me, believe in nothing
Corner me and make me something
I’ve become the hollow man,
Have I become the hollow man I see?

Mmmmmm I see…This echoing.

You have placed your trust in me.
I went upside-down.
I emptied out the room in thirty seconds flat,
I can’t believe you held your ground.

Believe in me, believe in nothing
Corner me and make me something
I’ve become the hollow man,
Have I become the hollow man I see?

I’m overwhelmed, I’m on repeat,
I’m emptied out, I’m incomplete.
You trusted me, I want to show you
I don’t want to be the hollow man.

Believe in me, believe in nothing
Corner me and make me something
I’ve become the hollow man,
Have I become the hollow man I see? I see…

A great review on the new album from Spin magazine…

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