|2. 7 ChineSe Bros.|
|3. so. Central Rain|
|4. Pretty Persuasion|
|5. Time After Time (annElise)|
|6. second GuessinG|
|7. letter Never seNt|
|9. (don't Go back To) ROCKVILLE|
|10. little america|
Songs like "So. Central Rain", "Pretty Persuasion", and "(Don't Go Back) Rockville" are classics that you can listen to over and over.
While I am not one of those R.E.M. fans that only likes their early work, I do appreciate listening to the band play at a time when it was far less encumbered by the introspection and seriousness that have come with age. This album is a great one for getting a glimpse at that free-spirited, youthful time during the band's evolution to what it is today.
"Reckoning" is R.E.M's umpteenth great album but to those not familiar with R.E.M.'s early work, it may sound perhaps a bit unpolished and raw compared to the later albums released under the Warner Bros. label. Much like nascent cartoons or comics that look a bit different than they do in their later years, R.E.M.'s sound, though definitely still taking shape, is unmistakable.
Side One (pardon this out-moded expression) was one of the best LP sides ever. The sound of "Reckoning" was more driving and slightly more electric than it's folk-tinged predecessor, "Murmur". The vocals were rarely decipherable, but one could extract occassional nuggets ("Your handshake is worthy, it's all that you've got"..."The wiseman builds his house upon the rock, but I'm not bound to follow suit"..."Goddamn your confusion"..."pull your dress on, and stay real close"). These little chestnuts somehow seemed and felt important at the time. Never enough to hang one's hat on, but enough to conjure intrigue.
Side Two yielded "Letter Never Sent", which is still at the top of my favorite R.E.M. songlist. Other highlights included "Second Guessing" and "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville".
While R.E.M.Read more ›
By the time we arrived at Cynthia's house we were only up to "Pretty Persuasion", about 1/3 of the way through the tape, and were already pretty hoarse. I don't know why we always played the music so loud, yet still valiantly tried to carry on conversations over top of it. We parked next to the mailbox by Cynthia's driveway but there was no way either of us were leaving that car until Reckoning was over. During the lull that is "Time After Time (Annelise)", we could no longer resist opening the root beer. We were going to need to fortify ourselves for side 2 of the tape. Without an alternative drinking apparatus, we took turns imbibing root beer straight from the boss.
"Why you trying to second guess me?" Yeah, things were starting to pick up again when suddenly I was startled by a knock on the passenger's side window. I turned to face the source of the noise and saw none other than Alan, Cynthia's older brother, standing impatiently next to the car. I rolled down the window to let him air whatever grievance he might have against us.
"What are you guys doing out here? Everyone is already inside getting ready to eat." Hair moussed and gelled to perfection and decked out in his finest 80s skinny tie regalia, Alan wasn't exactly a frightening authority figure even if he was a year older than us.Read more ›