- Audio CD (Sept. 10 1996)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Warner Bros
- ASIN: B000002N9S
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
|1. How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us|
|2. The Wake-Up Bomb|
|3. New Test Leper|
|5. E-Bow The Letter|
|8. Bittersweet Me|
|9. Be Mine|
|10. Binky The Doormat|
|12. So Fast, So Numb|
|13. Low Desert|
This is their longest cd yet, but with some of the most creative, and moving songs, the band has ever produced. The cd opener, How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us, is a moving, haunting piece that will grab your soul and pull you into this album...
...and then you get hit by the hard, rocking Wake Up Bomb! The tracks are so diversed that I'm sure there's at least one track here you're bound to love. New Test Leper and Be Mine are beautiful, slow songs that are great to relax and listen to, while Leave, Wake Up Bomb and So Fast, So Numb are heavier and hit you hard. There's so much diversity, and there's no real bad songs on this album.
The two singles, E-Bow The Letter and the closer, Electrolite, are the best songs on the cd. E-Bow has a haunting melody (aided by the talent of Patti Smiths vocals), while Electrolite is a great way to end the album (second to only Find The River on Automatic)
The competition for best R.E.M. cd is tight, but this is a good contender. My personal favourite is Reveal, but the quality of this cd blows it out of the water, really.
You have got to buy this cd.
When I first heard the whole album, except for "Bittersweet Me" and "How the West was Won and Where It Got Us" I was actually disappointed. Furthermore, based on the fickleness of the mass radio audience, I felt that it was not a wise choice to release "E-bow" as the initial single off the album. Sure enough, I think I heard it get some radio play for all of about a week and it disappeared. I can't recall hearing any other songs from "New Adventures In Hi-Fi" getting any airplay at all. I really think it was this decision that took R.E.M. off the radar screens for a while and made "NAIHF" and the following albums, "Up" and "Reveal", though critically acclaimed (especially the latter), far less successful commercially than previous R.E.M. Warner Bros. label albums had been.
After this album came out, since I wasn't too enthused by it, I went back in time and got some older R.E.M. albums like "Life's Rich Pageant" and sort of left "NAIHF" alone for a while. I thus became pretty familiar with R.E.M.'s older works, which I wasn't previously.
Anyway, flash ahead a couple of years: I gave "NAIHF" another twirl and liked it more than I ever had previously for whatever reason. Since then I've heard the album quite a few times and it's definitely grown on me.Read more ›
After a career full of intelligent risks, the band flew too close to the sun by releasing "E-Bow" as the first single. Big mistake. In today's music landscape, that kind of self-sabotage just can't be overcome (as evidenced by the lackluster public response to NAIHF). Had REM started with ELECTROLITE, the quirkiness of this record probably would've been easier for the casual fan to digest.
Anyway, weird or not, the album does have some real gems. ELECTROLITE, LEAVE, BE MINE, and WAKE-UP BOMB are great, while BITTERSWEET ME and even E-BOW manage to be good.
Other songs like DEPARTURE, HOW THE WEST WAS WON and ZITHER are well, uhh, courageous efforts shall we say...