|1. Radio Song|
|2. Losing My Religion|
|4. Near Wild Heaven|
|6. Shiny Happy People|
|8. Half A World Away|
|10. Country Feedback|
|11. Me In Honey|
Losing My Religion is the main song off this album, and it's brilliant, of course. It's a fantastic, catchy song that will have you hooked... that is, if you aren't already!
The brilliant Low and Half A World Away occupy this album, both great pieces of music that deserved more recognition. Country Feedback is another great song, and keen R.E.M. fans may tell you that it's one of their best.
This cd also contains the single... um, Shiny Happy People. This song has a mixed opinion about it; some love it, some can't stand it. I suppose the same can apply for Radio Song (which I, personally, can't stand.) With "Automatic", generally everyone can relate to, and love, the songs on it, but with these...
As for the others, well, they're a mixed bag, really. Near Wild Heaven is catchy, though perhaps a bit poppy. Endgame is a great instrumental, and the remaining Belong and Me In Honey are certainly good songs, though they are dwarfed by the more popular songs on the cd.
So what's the verdict? Well, despite 2 or 3 poppy songs that some people are bound to oppose to, this is still a great album that I recommend to anyone!
I have to disagree with the reviews that bash "Losing My Religion"; just because a song resonated with the masses doesn't detract from its artistic value. And though "Shiny Happy People" is mocked more than any other R.E.M. song except "Stand", I like that the band was willing to experiment and do such a song. R.E.M. has pumped out enough meaningful songs to be given license to do an occasional fluff piece.
I alluded earlier that I feel the album suffers from an unevenness; though most of the songs stand alone very well, as a whole the album feels like a hodgepodge of songs from different albums. Some fast, some slow, some thoughtful, some fluff, some experimental sounds, some traditional. It's akin to something a fan would burn as a CD today rather than a studio-produced, coherent whole. Don't get me wrong, though; the songs that don't quite fit in are still good songs in their own right.
While not perfect, any serious R.E.M. fan has to have this seminal R.E.M. album in their collection. It has terrific songs and marks the band's leap from relative obscurity to the beginning of the band's apogee.