at odds on puropse,
By A Customer
This review is from: Green (Audio CD)Ok, I didn't read all 89 reviews, but...
It seems that a great many reviewers have missed several points about this album. A dash of context and a little hindsight might help. First, of all, if you are familiar with Mr. Stipe, then you know how much interest he has in Andy Kaufman, having produced "Man On the Moon; " another of his film productions is "Being John Malkovich." Stipe is interested in the cult of celebrity and a type of channeling various/varied personalities, a loss of self to some social "other".
Green's disparate songs and lyrical "personalities" fit these tendencies. Stipe has always been inward and obtuse; his newfound "outwardness" is a mask--it's him trying on these different personas. He denounces cultural social graces and indifference by channeling vapidity right on the first song, "Pop Song 89"...
Then he goes on to channel the political aspirant ("World Leader Pretend"), the handicapped ("Wrong Child"), the narrow-minded and politically oblivious ("Stand"), military leaders ("Orange Crush")--almost all in the first person. What he controls, rather brilliantly, is how these personalities are perceived: the "stupid pop songs" are clearly cultural parody, but others are more genuine in their tone ("Hairshirt"). "World Leader Pretend" is really one of his best--a non-topical political commentary (hard enough to do by itself, really) that reveals insecurities and questioning beneath the bravado.
He tried it again--stylistically, without as much social commentary-- on Monster...