Out of Time – R.E.M – 1991

This album is the most straight-forward, poppy, simplistic and emphatic album that R.E.M ever wrote – it is delightful. I am particularly attached to it, this being the first R.E.M album I ever heard, and among the first 50 albums I ever heard. There goes objectivity – or not – such a thing as objectivity in music doesn’t exist whatever Pitchfork or Rolling Stones might try to tell you- yes, my feelings are colored by my past association but what use is music if not to color your feelings.

As I noted, I am comfortable with this album – its like my bed in my old room – I know every twist and turn – every nook and cranny – I’ve had time to grow up with these songs in my head. I could’ve regaled you with my multiple interpretations of “Losing My Religion” but unfortunately have forgotten all of them but I still love the video and the song – Michael Stipe is in fine form as usual, he sounds as vulnerable and human as ever. R.E.M._-_Out_of_Time

They have used the tracklisting to make sure that we move through multiple moods and not stay in one spot too long – from happy, frolicking rhythms (Radio Song/Shiny Happy People) to meditative introspection (Losing My Religion/Half a World Away) to whimsically sad and angsty (Low/Country Feedback) to a peaceful and quiet slumber (Near Wild Heaven/Endgame/Me in Honey)

Apart from the interminably long Low most of the songs are good, and at the time this album ushered in a new era for R.E.M – 60’s pop-rock era updated for the 90’s. An album for contented, happy people – or for people who want to feel that way – this one has been my stalwart companion through the years.

Recommended Tracks – Losing My Religion, Half a World Away (covered later by Oasis), Country Feedback, Near Wild Heaven.

Baba T


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