There're lots of good albums out there, but there's a big gap between good and great... something almost unexplainable. It's like going from one world to another. That's what great music is all about... altering consciousness. Document is truly something that absorbs the listener, plain and simple.
Document's hit singles, "It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine)" and "The One I Love", are more than just radio staples... they're pleasant reminders of the excellent poets of the last few centuries. The same can be said for "Finest Worksong", "Fireplace", and so many others. It's lyrical music, with a new wave touch.
The political songs, "Welcome to the Occupation", "Exhuming McCarthy", and "Disturbance at the Heron House", are the greatest trio of government-related tracks on any rock record ever. A southern touch, a clip of former senator Joe McCarthy (one that's quite revealing, actually), and soothing figurativism... it's subtle, charming, and ultimately powerful.
Document is proof that R.E.M. was ready to go from indie to mainstream and continue maintaining artistic capability and credibility. It will not, and can not, be forgotten.