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Reviews Written by
Dan Stanley "World Leader Pretend" (Australia)

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Price: CDN$ 9.86
67 used & new from CDN$ 1.28

5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Debut?, June 24 2004
This review is from: Murmur (Audio CD)
Oh yeah, you better believe it! This album is proof of how great R.E.M. really are. They weren't afraid to try something different from the very beginning... this cd is anything but ordinary!
One of my favourite things about this great cd is that the songs work well together, and blend in well to make it an atmospheric experience... you won't be skipping any tracks on this one! Where as on albums like Green, you play it to hear the hits, but everything else isn't as good.
Except for Radio Free Europe, the bands first single, there's not any song that stands out over the other, and that's the way I like it. All the tracks are different, but provide you with the same basic atmosphere and listening pleasure. We Walk is very different to West Of The Fields, but they work together so well!
The gem of the album has to be Perfect Circle, a truely beautiful song. Pilgramage is fantastic and fun, as is Moral Kiosk and Catapult. You really can't go wrong with this cd, it's full of underrated R.E.M. classics.
It's effectively a toss up between this and Automatic for R.E.M.s best (though I heard Lifes Rich Pageant is the best, I just have to wait till I get my grubby mits on it!) But this cd is definatly worth your time. Listen to the cd that created Alternative Rock and started the legend that is R.E.M.!!

R.E.M.: Perfect Square
R.E.M.: Perfect Square
DVD ~ Peter Buck
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 16.15
21 used & new from CDN$ 6.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Crank up the volume!, June 15 2004
This review is from: R.E.M.: Perfect Square (DVD)
This DVD is a fantastic concert from R.E.M. and I recommend it to absouletly anyone, especially the fans! It has a good (and interesting) mixture of songs that would please absolutely anybody!
It kicks off with the hard hitting Begin The Begin, which is a great, and rarely heard song. Others like Permanent Vacation, Maps And Legends, and She Just Wants To Be are all seldom heard greats. They sound so good live!
It has all the classics you want to hear, like Man On The Moon, Imitation Of Life, End Of The World, Country Feedback and Everybody Hurts, all beautifully well done. Surprises came in the form of the quality of the performances of Daysleeper and Orange Crush. Both great songs, but they sound WAY better live!
And the band are all great on stage! Dancing and jumping around, it looks like they're having the time of their life... and why wouldn't they? They're one of the biggest bands in the world, with thousands of fans to cheer them on!
The additional documentary is interesting as well, and provides a good distraction after you watch the concert a thousand times, like I did! This DVD is great, all music fans should definatly pick this up.

Price: CDN$ 11.45
326 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A vastly underrated follow-up to Automatic, June 14 2004
This review is from: Monster (Audio CD)
Monster is R.E.M.s experimental rock cd, and let me tell you, it's something else. It's hard for a band as different as R.E.M. to produce something even more different! But they have done it, and despite the bad reviews it got from the critics, I say this is a cd you would be mad to pass up.
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!

Fables of the Reconstruction
Fables of the Reconstruction
Price: CDN$ 15.00
30 used & new from CDN$ 5.22

4.0 out of 5 stars A very good album from their early days, June 3 2004
This album is the first album I purchased from R.E.M.s IRS days, and let me tell you, it's a real treat. Such good variety of songs, there's something in this collection that would appeal to everyone.
From the excellent opener, Feeling Gravitys Pull, the listener is drawn into the albums generally gloomy mood... but who said there's anything wrong with gloomy? There are the radio hits Driver 8 (my personal favourite of this cd), Life And How To Live It, and the somewhat upbeat Can't Get There From Here, all great songs.
We also have the calm, though catchy melodys of Maps And Legends, Old Man Kensey, Good Advices and Wendell Gee (a very good album closer.) No track on this cd is bad, so there's no track skipping here!
The only real reason it missed the 5 star rating is because it still pales in comparison to Lifes Rich Pageant, Document and Murmur, let alone all their bigger Warner Bros albums... A more accurate rating for this cd would be 4.5.
This cd is a thoroughly great purchase that anyone can do well to pick up. Try and get the one with bonus tracks, just for the live versions of Driver 8 and Maps And Legends!

In View: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003
In View: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003
DVD ~ Bill Berry
Offered by moviemars-canada
Price: CDN$ 13.75
17 used & new from CDN$ 7.57

5.0 out of 5 stars Great videos, great song, great band... Great everything!, June 2 2004
This came out along with In Time: The Best Of R.E.M., which was a hit all over the world. But if you thought the songs were good, you really gotta check out the videos!
Except for Animal and All The Right Friends, every song's respective video from the first disc of In Time is on this DVD, and that's quite an impressive collection.
So what do we have? We have the fantastic new video for Bad Day (like a mock news report), Imitation Of Life (my favourite video, it's incredible), and clever videos for All The Way To Reno, The Great Beyond, E-Bow The Letter and Daysleeper. It also contains the award winning video for Losing My Religion, the emotional Everybody Hurts, the silly Stand, and the bizzare Electrolite vid... what a collection!
But there's more! The DVD comes with some bonus videos of rarely heard R.E.M. classics. I love Tongue and How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us, both rarely heard but very good, both with a great vid. Highlights, however, are the awesome Lotus video (almost as freaky as the actual song!) and the quirky vid for my favourite R.E.M. song, I'll Take The Rain. Wow... I love this DVD!
There's even live perfomances of three of their more popular songs (Imitation, Religion and Man On The Moon), and a discography included, so the collector can start ticking them off!
All in all, this is one DVD that is definatly worth your while if your interested in seeing some of the videos backing some of their best songs!

by Rob & Tim Abbott. Jovanovic
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars I'll Take The Book!, June 2 2004
My friends bought me this book for my 18th... I love them so much! This is an absolutely fantastic book!
It has detailed information of the bands history... from their early days of jamming together to what they are now. It also outlines the unfortunate circumstances under which Bill Berry, the band drummer, left the band.
It is well illustrated, with plenty of odds and ends to keep all R.E.M. fans satisfied. At the end, it even has a table showing how their singles and albums faired on the UK and US charts!
It's a long read, but it's a blast all the way through. If you call yourself a fan of the best band in the world, you need to get this book!

In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 (Limited Edition)
In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 (Limited Edition)
Offered by M plus L
Price: CDN$ 14.39
32 used & new from CDN$ 2.77

5.0 out of 5 stars A very good collection, particularly for the beginners., June 1 2004
The Best Of R.E.M... I cannot imagine how hard it would be to pick a handful out of a whole range of fantastic songs this band has produced, but this collection is very promising. If you've heard one or two of their songs on the radio, and liked what you heard, this collection will certainly appeal to you.
It has the songs "everybody has heard a thousand times before", such as Man On The Moon, Losing My Religion, Everybody Hurts, Imitation Of Life and Whats The Frequency, Kenneth?, just to name a few. All fantastic songs and are some of the best of the album they were taken from.
The cd ranges from mellow and sweet (Reno, At My Most Beautiful), to the fun and wacky (Stand, Sidewinder), and there is such a diversity here that can appeal to everyone. There's even two new songs, Animal and Bad Day, which are both good and may be a taste as to where R.E.M. are leading now.
The second cd, however, is one I can only really recommend to fans, but seeing it's only a few bucks more, it's probably best to pay full price and get them both.
The second cd has fantastic versions of some of my favourite songs (Pop Song '89, The Lifting, Star Me Kitten, Leave), live versions of the popular Country Feedback, Drive, and The One I Love, and even some rare outtakes and B-Sides that may grasp the interest of those who have all their albums anyway. The live version of Turn You Inside-Out was, in my opinion, especially good.
The only real complaints with the cd are more personal than anything else... I still think Lotus, I'll Take The Rain and Strange Currencies should have been in somewhere... but whatever.
In summation, this is a fantastic collection that I thoroughly recommend. It's a great way to get into one of the biggest bands of all time.

New Adventures in Hi-Fi
New Adventures in Hi-Fi
Price: CDN$ 13.80
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of their best., June 1 2004
This review is from: New Adventures in Hi-Fi (Audio CD)
I was fortunate to pick this album up for cheap, and I haven't put it down since. I'm a huge fan of R.E.M., and I had high expectations of this highly acclaimed album... this just blew me away. This could very well be better than Automatic.
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.

Price: CDN$ 13.10
112 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The most underrated album... ever., May 31 2004
This review is from: Reveal (Audio CD)
This is the newest album R.E.M. have to offer, and let me tell you, it's brilliant. There's something so warm and touching about this album, something most of their previous albums failed to reach. And while it's no Automatic, it should be considered a classic.
With the departure of Bill Berry, the bands drummer, fans of the old days believed that R.E.M. would never be the same again... how true. This is R.E.M. like you've never heard them before, happy and upbeat. The polar opposite to Automatic, actually.
You've probably heard the albums two main singles, Imitation Of Life and All The Way To Reno (You're Gonna Be A Star), which are both fantastic songs, and show that, even after a period of about 20 years, the band still know how to keep the auidence satisfied.
The opening, titled The Lifting, is a great way to start the album, and gives you a taste of what's to come. It makes me feel lightheaded! Couple this with beautiful tracks like I've Been High, She Just Wants To Be, and Beat A Drum, and you have a winner on your hands. Even the experimental The Chorus And The Ring proves to be a success!
The highlight of the album, however, is the exquisite I'll Take The Rain, perhaps the bands most beautiful and underrated song (though it did get an interesting music video!) This, in my eyes, makes the album worthy of purchase alone... it's just so sweet.
In case you haven't it out yet, this album is good. Very good. The fans obsessed with the IRS days poo-poo this album, but there's nothing wrong with showing your lighter side.
I recommend this album to everyone, whether you are a fan of the band, or not. It will touch you like it touched me.

Price: CDN$ 12.64
123 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars The grass is greener on one side..., May 31 2004
This review is from: Green (Audio CD)
The fourth R.E.M. I have owned really was a different one. The three preceding ones I owned (Auto, OOT and Hi-Fi) all have complex, moody songs (ignoring the likes of Shiny Happy People, obviously)... but this cd is all about catchy, radio friendly tracks, and they're guaranteed to put a smile on your face, even if half of the tracks aren't too good...
The two opening tracks, Pop Song 89 and Get Up, are both fun pieces of pop... I love them both. They're catchy and they'll stick in your mind, and if you're not into overly complex songs, these will have you hooked.
Stand and Orange Crush, the two main singles of this album, are certainly very catchy, though it may alarm some fans of the IRS days (as this is a VERY big swing from, say, Fables...) But I'm sure even they are grinning whenever they play Stand!
World Leader Pretend is awesome, period. This is the best track on this album, and it should have got more recognition. I also love the heavier Turn You Inside Out. There's not much to not like about this album...
Except the remaining tracks didn't really appeal to me, they seemed a bit dry. Maybe it's because they're not bouncing off the walls like the other songs, but still, You Are The Everything just annoyed me for some reason, and The Wrong Child just leaved me uninspired. The last three tracks are good, but they just don't compare to the better songs this album offers.
So what I'm basically saying is that half of this album is great... fantastic even, if you're into the happier, poppier stuff. But half of the tracks just don't really cut it for me.
Well, try it out. It's definatly a good album that's worthy of purchase (especially when you consider how cheap it is to buy these days), but be sure to pick up their higher rated albums first, before jumping straight into the Green.

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