|1. What's The Frequency, Kenneth?|
|2. Crush With Eyeliner|
|3. King Of Comedy|
|4. I Don't Sleep, I Dream|
|5. Star 69|
|6. Strange Currencies|
|8. Bang And Blame|
|9. I Took Your Name|
|10. Let Me In|
|11. Circus Envy|
This cd, unlike the slow, melodys of the previous album, have hard hitting tracks that grab you. What's The Frequency, Kenneth? is a song we've all heard thousands of times before, but it's great, and I never get sick of it! The cd also contains singles Crush With Eyeliner (this song should have done a lot better), and Star 69, which is a fantastic song that echoes at you. Bang And Blame is another great song, but not as good as those mentioned.
The two slowest songs, Tongue and Strange Currencies, are in my opinion the best on this album. Tongue is a song sung in falsetto, and is brilliant. Strange Currencies, however, is the highlight of this album, and is absolutely beautiful. It will remind you of the far more successful Everybody Hurts.
As for the others, King Of Comedy and Circus Envy are heavily distorted songs that sound great, even if you don't know what's going on. Let Me In is a great song dedicated to a great musician (Kurt Cobain), and the other tracks are all good listening.
This cd is heavy R.E.M., and if you want to explore this rarely seen side of them, this cd is definatly worth picking up. It's a bad way to start off if you're new to R.E.M., however, so pick up Automatic first!
Part of this might be because of R.E.M.'s career turbulence/mid-life crisis. Deaths of friends, births of babies, negiotiations with Warner Brothers, and a changing musical climate during the mid-90s grunge era probably distracted the band and required them to second-guess their confidence.
Monster quickly earned a reputation for being R.E.M.'s punk album; their brashest album yet. And while that remains halfway true, Monster is not the all-out sonic attack that everyone was complaining about. The light piano-tinkler Tongue, the smaltzy ballad Strange Currency and the ambiguous (or maybe directionless) I Don't Sleep I Dream show the listener that Monster is not all about rocking your teeth out.
One of Monster's problems is that many of the harder songs sound like they were written a little too fast. Star 69, What's the Frequency Kenneth, and I Took Your Name all have paper-thin melodies that show while R.E.M. is competent to play loud punk-inspired rock, they couldn't make it sound inspiring by itself. Bang and Blame is especially tiresome because it just doesn't get going.
But some of the noisier numbers do have a positive impact, such as Crush With Eyeliner, Circus Envy, and King of Comedy. All in all, if Out of Time were not to exist, I would say that Monster is probably R.E.M.'s most inconsistent album. Some of it is quite good while the rest of it is merely there. It's also a very accesible bargain-bin CD.
Know what? I'm glad they did it. I like when a band is willing to take risks; I like it even better when that risk pays off. R.E.M.'s "Monster" is a terrific album from beginning to end.
Catchy songs such as "What's the Frequency Kenneth?", "Crush with Eyeliner", "King of Comedy", and "Star 69", make you move whether you like it or not.
"I Don't Sleep, I Dream", "Tongue", and "Strange Currencies" are the type of evocative and pensive songs R.E.M. does so well.
"Bang and Blame" is a great song, period.
I know that this doesn't sound like the band's early work, or even like what was to be found on "Out of Time" and "Automatic for the People" but to me it's a splendid detour, one that few other bands would dare take, much less do with such aplomb.