5.0 out of 5 stars Automatic for Everyone
This is my favorite REM album, so I was happy to replace the copy that had been stolen from my car. Still fresh and exciting, and eminently playable.
Published 10 months ago by ken evans
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but overrated
I don't mind this album - it does have some really good songs on it (Drive, Everybody Hurts, Nightswimming) but there is a lot of filler (e.g. Ignoreland, Monty Got a Raw Deal, etc). It doesn't stand up well when compared to the real R.E.M. masterpieces (Out of Time, Monster, New Adventures in HiFi). If you want to try out some R.E.M., I'd recommend one of the others...
Published on Nov. 3 2003
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5.0 out of 5 stars Automatic for Everyone,
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This review is from: Automatic for the People (Audio CD)This is my favorite REM album, so I was happy to replace the copy that had been stolen from my car. Still fresh and exciting, and eminently playable.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classically significant!,
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This review is from: Automatic for the People (Audio CD)Here is one of those rock voices everyone knows immediately!
1.Drive: One of the best rock songs ever written. I think people can even remember where they were the 1st time they heard this song. Michael Stipes voice is just so pure and the musical construction of this song is just so dynamic. The acoustic sounds so great with the other musicians as well. His voice is at the forefront but this song couldn't be without the band's backing as they are so good together. By the time the electric guitar components & orchestral instruments come into it your already hooked. I still see concert images in my head of artists free flying into the concert crowd with this one. Such a well written song about our days of "youth" and the freedom of our youth to not have to conform, to being a time when we are still figuring out who we are. Just so well done. Yes...still!
2.Try Not To Breathe: The instrumentation of this song reminded me of an Irish ballad. The lyrics are so telling of someone finding their own confidence and strength during a difficult time. Love the acoustical guitar in this again!
3.Everybody Hurts: Another classic R.E.M. song that takes you back. Lyrically one of the best impowering songs of faith, strength, support, determination....against all odds! I'm sure this saved more than one life over & over again! Just absolutely outstanding lyrics, melody, vocals (soft, sweet, powerful) and musical arrangment. I don't think anyone can give justice to critiqing this song; not even Hemingway himself! Still on my favorite playlist with Drive!
4.New Orleans Instrumental #1: I just love that they had the guts to put an instrumental on this CD. Love what sounds like a variety of strings, cello, bass & violin. I think it showed their range & versatility as performers.....hey we're not just your regular rock band! Great!
5.Sweetness Follows: OMG...the vocal on this is just so precious. It sings like a memorial song to someone deeply loved ...a song of reflection.....like a family portrait......where you ponder the circular movements to & fro to find each other over and again. A song of tragedy, triumph....love the guitar so much in this song.......after hearing this I realize ...the Sweetness did follow!
6.Star Me Kitten: This song seemed like a song that someone like Chris Isaak could have recorded. I like him using his voice in a lower register; gave it an unknown unique style from his usual vocal delivery. Interesting!
7.Man On The Moon: This seems like a Happy Go Lucky song from the guys. Love all the historical references to moments & persons in history and what would this song be without him singing "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah" in it. Love the attempt to sound like Elvis; that was so cool!
8.Find The River: I love the guitar intro to this song...still captivates me right up to when he begins the vocal. One of my favorite Michael Stipes vocals....just a pretty ditty! I think he was channelling Gordon Lightfoot for this one! It just flows like the tides of an ocean in perfect harmony! I feel like if I could jump into this song....I'd be on that green, green Irish soil..skipping to the pub to share a pint with the boys! Ha! Ha!
These are my favorite songs on this classic CD....hope you all can spend an evening listening to it & enjoying it again as much as I did tonight!
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant,
This review is from: Automatic for the People (Audio CD)This is another short and sweet reviews and straight to the point. This is a magnificent album. There are lots of well written and they sound brilliant. It is one of those albums that should be on a list of must listen's before you die. Just brilliant.
5.0 out of 5 stars Automatic Classic,
This review is from: Automatic for the People (Audio CD)A bold, acoustic album which such spectacular sound quality that it sounds like it was taped last year! This album features R.E.M. at their most intimate, professional and accurate. I would not say that it is a better album than "Out of Time", but it is more masterful craft-wise. All in all, this is R.E.M. at their best, and it is the 'must have' album of their career. Dark, witty, humorous and deep, alternative rock with a country feel doesn't get any better than this.
"Drive" - The opening song of regret, striking right from the get-go. Acoustic and yet adding an electric edge. Sound-wise perhaps the most addictive song on the album. Stipe's amusing wordplay is apparent right from the start: "Smack, crack, bushwhacked. Tie another one to the racks, baby..."
"Try Not to Breathe" - Very country, and oozing with well mastered melody. Perhaps not one of the more striking songs, but never the less it holds its own.
"The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" - An artsy spin on "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" song, which is both cute and astonishing, featuring one of Stipe's very best vocal performances and some of his most trippy lyrics.
"Everybody Hurts" - Everyone has heard this song a 1,000 times. It is a beautiful classic to be sure.
"New Orleans Instrumental No. 1" - A filler, and I never listen to it. But it does fit in with the style and mood of the album.
"Sweetness Follows" - Very moody and sentimental song about drifting apart which grabs me every time I hear it. Very bassy and bound to ignite darker feelings.
"Monty Got A Raw Deal" - This one refers to the actor Montgomery Clift, accused of Communism by McCarthy. One of the stranger songs on the album, both for its sound and lyrics. You just have to listen to it.
"Ignoreland" - The song which stands out from the rest as it doesn't seem entirely finished somehow. Perhaps rushed, or something. But a highly energetic spew on 80's politics.
"Star Me Kitten" - There was a version of this song released on the "X-Files" TV series soundtrack which is far its superior, voiced instead by writer and vocal performer William S. Burroughs. However, this take is nicely done in its own subtle way. The lyrics linger somewhere between cute and dirty.
"Man on the Moon" - One of their best-loved songs, and one which Peter Buck has boasted as being the 'quintessential R.E.M. song'. About controversial comedian Andy Kaufman, and used in the 1999 film by the same name.
"Nightswimming" - One of those songs that you'll either love or hate. Shamelessly cute and addictive, and easy to get lost in. A song lost in a beautiful moment with innocent piano and Stipe at perhaps his most giving.
"Find the River" - The last song and perhaps my personal favorite. It's about letting go and embracing the spiritual journey, into the beyond. A simple country-flavored ballad which delivers, to the patient listener, treats as great as other moments in this classic album.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of all time.,
This review is from: Automatic for the People (Audio CD)I just had to buy this album after all the hype and reviews that surrounded it. R.E.M. are my favourite band of all time, and this is the second album I bought (after "Out Of Time") and I was, literally, amazed...
This album, especially compared to "Out Of Time", is dark and moody, but every song is special, and every song brings it's own point across, and, more often than not, means something different to everyone that hears them.
Well, what do we have? Drive, the album starter, is a fantastic piece of music with heavy hitting guitar chords and moving lyrics... it's my favourite song on the cd, but it's so hard to pick just one!
A couple of tracks down is The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite. Erm, ok I lied when I said every song brings it's point across ;) It's a fun, happy piece of fluff that anyone can love, even if they don't know what's going on. Callmewhenyoutrytowakeherup!
...Do I even need to tell you why Everybody Hurts is great? This is a powerful, moving piece that any teenager can relate to. It really is fantastic. If you weren't moved by this, than you've got a heart of stone!
Man On The Moon, again, needs no introduction. Their first song dedicated to Andy Kauffman (followed by the inferior "Great Beyond"), this is an absolute classic that is reason enough to buy the cd.
The two closers, Nightswimming and Find The River, are brilliant. I don't think they could have closed this moody, emotional album in any better way... they just work so well, with each other, and with the rest of the album.
The other songs, including the instrumental, are all great songs that are more than worthy of recognition (particularly Star Me Kitten).
This album is a must own for anyone who claims they know good music. Trust me: Buy it now!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars REM's third masterpiece,
By A Customer
This review is from: Automatic for the People (Audio CD)Well, the last reviewer CLEARLY showed his lack of knowledge on REM or his good taste. So, where to start?
REM had hit their high point twice in the past. The first time was MURMUR, an indie rock classic that was influential to many bands. The second time was their commercial breakthrough, DOCUMENT, when a large amount of confused people turned "The One I Love" into a hit. Now, AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE has become a melancholy classic.
Track by track, this is REM's best album lyrically, and it benefits from the reliance on acoustic instruments. "Drive", "Man on the Moon", "Everybody Hurts", "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" and "Nightswimming" are among REM's best songs. "Try Not To Breathe", "Monty Got A Raw Deal" and "Find The River" are probably REM"s best songs that nobody knows about. If you are an REM fan and you don't own this, buy it as soon as possible.
5.0 out of 5 stars lite comforting tunes,
This review is from: Automatic for the People (Audio CD)My favorite tracks here are Drive, Man on the Moon, and Nightswimming. But there are others worth noting. All are memorable easy-listening tunes for those more soothing moments.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars doesn't do this album justice!,
This review is from: Automatic for the People (Audio CD)Not only is Automatic for the People my favorite R.E.M. album, it's one of my favorite albums ever made, period! It is a powerful, emotional album with not one single weak song. Man on the Moon, Ignoreland, Monty Got a Raw Deal, and The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite are absolutely terrific songs that still resonate even 12 years later in 2004. When I get a sick and tired of the tripe put out nowadays, I pull out this album and just bathe in its unique sound and meaningful, humanistic themes and always find myself soothed. Amazingly enough, even though I've heard the album countless times, I still pick up new meanings or new feelings to this day with each subsequent listen.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Song For Every Mood.,
This review is from: Automatic for the People (Audio CD)Quiet and gentle for most of the album, this CD encompasses more emotions then 20 of the top pop albums do combined today. While speaking politically through many of the songs, R.E.M. also speaks of deeper things.
"Drive" - "Smack, Crack, Bushwacked.." The first song on album that discusses George Bush the first. This song goes either way. You can look at it from the Bush perspective, or the idea that the singer is discussing the growing problem of drug use in teenagers. Neither of these have been confirmed by the R.E.M. camp in typical R.E.M. fashion. Beautiful and powerful use of strings.
"The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" - the yodel is borrowed from "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". Not sure what they were trying to say with this song. It's catchy, and the first happy song on the album. The video to go with this song doesn't explain it either.
"Everybody Hurts" - An excellent song about Suicide Provention. The main idea is easy, Everybody Hurts Sometimes. This song has gotten me through some tough times. Just the idea that I'm not the only one out there in pain and going through bad things keeps me going. I know it does for many people.
"New Orleans Instrumental #1" - A showcase for the talents of the "other 3" Bill Berry, Peter Buck, and Mike Mills. A great R.E.M. song doesn't have to have lyrics. Personally though I prefer "Endgame" from Out Of Time to this one.
"Sweetness Follows" - When I went to a R.E.M. concert on the Up tour of 1999, this song was introduced as Peter Buck's favorite. It discusses the death of your parents, and the pain that comes with the loss. No one can understand the pain unless they've been there and this song conveys that.
"Monty Got a Raw Deal" - My Favorite Song of the Album. Very emotional, loud at times. The Monty that is addressed in the title has been thought to be Montgomery Ward. Even better live.
"Ignoreland" - This song doesn't fit in with the rest of the album. It's probably the precursor to "Bad Day" off of In Time, even though the original is older. It's a "spleen-venting" rant against the republicanism of Reagan and Bush. It's sad that this song is still revelvant 10+ years later. "Ignoreland" would have fit better on Monster I believe.
"Star Me Kitten" - In Peter Buck's words "It's a real perverse love song". It's one of the few R.E.M. songs I know with the f bomb in it. Star Me Kitten wasn't the original title. I'll let you do the math. If they had used their title for this song they would have gotten a Parental Advisory Label.
"Man on The Moon" - The song about Andy Kaufmann, that led to the movie with Jim Carrey. This was written by Bill and Peter, and it seems at time they have two different songs going. Some of the cultural references you may have to look up.
"Nightswimming" - Gourgeous beautiful lush song. Mike Mills plays a beautiful piano piece in this song. In this song, the singer is mourning the loss of being able to go "nightswimming". It's looking back on your teenage years when you could go skinny dipping, and that would be the riskiest thing you could do. The simplicity of the time shines through.
"Find the River" - Yet another mourning song, but this one seems more intereptretive. You can take the lyrics to mean many different things. Everyone seems to have a different thought on it. But what most people can agree with is it's one of the best R.E.M. songs ever written, and probably the most overlooked.
When the good people at Amazon considered this an essential CD, they were right. Pick it up and find out for yourself!
5.0 out of 5 stars if you buy one R.E.M. record...this is the one to check out!,
This review is from: Automatic for the People (Audio CD)R.E.M.'s masterpiece "Automatic for the People" is the rare record that transcends time and space (and current fads.) The band toned down the volume on this record to great effect--a funereal atmosphere permeates almost every cut, and it is a great introspective, reflective album from opening track to the closing. Michael Stipe's lyrics are sublime. Whether he's quoting David Essex on "Drive," the opening track, or singing about Montgomery Clift and Andy Kaufman ("Monty Got a Raw Deal" and "Man on the Moon," respectively) Stipe's lyrics and vocals had never been so pronounced or brilliant (up to this point.) And of course, there is the album's big hit, "Everybody Hurts," which is jammed packed with emotion with both the lyrics and Stipe's quavering voice. "Automatic for the People" is an automatically enchanting piece of music.
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