REM - 'Out Of Time'

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REM - 'Out Of Time'

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 09 Jan 2006, 19:41

'Shiny Happy People' is the song they disowned. But why only this one? Christ knows there was enough to choose from on this truly dire 1991 outing. There's 'Radio Song' - with its embarrassing 'rap' section and dopey lyric. 'Losing My Religion' - the perfect example of the REM-patented mock profound marketing tool. Or there's the la-la girlie vocal and flowery 'poetic' adolescent sentiment of 'Near Wild Heaven'. These songs could have been written by any weak-at-the-knee student bedsitter. And these were the singles!

I was reminded of the existence of the album when I caught an 'Unplugged' session from around the same time lately. It's truly appalling. Woolly hats and jumpers and hugs and folky pluckings with a grin. I hate Michael Stipe.

REM's 'Out Of Time' is insubstantial poncey shite.

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Postby Sea Of Tunes » 09 Jan 2006, 19:49

Hmmm. Although I love REM, I'll readily admit that they had particularly weak moments. I found Document their first disappointing album. And in my hometown, you could exactly predict which type of people jumped on the dancefloor to jive to Losing My Religion: hippies, the dungaree-folks, who 15 years earlier were grooving to Supertramp, with that particularly clumsy dance routine of sticking their whole arms up and waving with their hands above their heads. All of them did some sociological type of therapy-study, and all of them thought that the title Losing My Religion was some sort of statement of independence.
Curiously, they also were fond of Smells Like Teen Spirit. And when something really groovy came along (Unfinished Sympathy) they all went to the bar for herbal tea.
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Postby PENK » 09 Jan 2006, 20:33

One of their two good albums, this one, actually. Radio Song is musically decent enough but I'd agree that the entire vocal is an enormous mistake. Losing My Religion's a great song, as is Near Wild Heaven, but the album really picks up at the end. Songs like Texarkana, Country Feedback and Half a World Away have a lovely, hazy feel to them, with Stipe's lyrics actually connecting with the listener for once, and the album's packed with gorgeous, woozy melodies - it feels lazy, but doesn't sound it. Shiny Happy People's not a bad song, it's just out of place - far too bright, buoyant and, yes, shiny, for what is in essence a wonderfully relaxing album.
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Postby Leg of lamb » 09 Jan 2006, 20:49

My favourite album from one of my favourite bands and Penk's right, it's all about the second side. But I've even come round to the opinion that the weird faux-pas songs are essential to the whole, rather than just being interesting but tragic experiments that we could do without.
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Postby brassneck.. » 09 Jan 2006, 20:50

I recently went through a REM renaissance and rebought OOT and LRP.

I shall be returning to the latter far more frequently for sure. I agree with Penk that Near Wild Heaven is superb, and the closing tracks save the album from being a disaster, but i could never hear the majority again and i wouldn't miss it.

Of the REM albums i have, it's the nadir imo. (i only have NAIHF post AFTP).

*apologies for all the acronyms*

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Postby Jeff K » 09 Jan 2006, 20:56

Country Feedback is a terrific song. One of their most underrated too. I have no problems with Out of Time. Over familiarity prevents me from playing this too often but this was the album that finally enabled them to break through to the mainstream.
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Postby Butch Manly » 09 Jan 2006, 21:08

playing it now. will report back.
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Postby Butch Manly » 09 Jan 2006, 21:10

Rolo Tomassi wrote:*apologies for all the acronyms*


ISFWTS*









*i should fucking well think so
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Postby Ranking Ted » 09 Jan 2006, 21:31

OOT is not a fully realised REM LP - it has too many jarring moments as described above; the vocals on the otherwise funky Radio Song, the misconceived Shiny Happy People - but its far from dire.

But its highs, away from the ubiquitous Losing My Religion, are the woozy, almost narcotic likes of Country Feedback, Half A World Away, Low, Texarkana, which are all top class additions to the REM songbook. Sequenced together, along with Near Wild Heaven, the LP takes on the qualities described by Penk. They've certainly done far worse (anything since New Adventures...).

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Postby Sea Of Tunes » 09 Jan 2006, 21:36

I will play FOTRROTF tonight. I like that one. Underrated.
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Postby This Was » 09 Jan 2006, 22:02

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Last edited by This Was on 08 Feb 2010, 22:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Bungo the Mungo » 09 Jan 2006, 22:27

If I was drunk and lovesick, I still wouldn't agree with the yes-sayers' comments here. But I can't let you get away with praise for 'Near Wild Heaven' - a song sung so badly, so weakly, and with a melody so flimsy, that it would cause Ghandi to start the next World War.

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Postby Butch Manly » 09 Jan 2006, 22:36

"radio song"

hey, everybody's got to have a song about the radio, don't they? i used to hate this but i rather like the tune now and i've forgiven it its inane lyrical content. KRS-1 doesn't do it any favours, though. 3/5

"losing my religion"

overplayed these days of course, and weighed down by the fact that it was guilty of stealing REM from their precious little fanbase and giving them to the world, but a classic, nonetheless. 5/5

"low"

an unlovely dirge with no real redeeming qualities that stalls the album just as it gets going. a mistake. 1/5

"near wild heaven"

lightweight but sparkling pop song that rescues the album just in time and keeps you listening. lovely guitars and harmonies. 4/5

"endgame"

pointless and unedifying instrumental that ensured my vinyl copy rarely reached the end of side one. 1/5

"shiny happy people"

i hated it then and i hate it now. unbearably irritating. 1/5

"belong"

oddly involving song even if i have no idea what it's about. i like stipe's spoken bits and the bass, guitar and wordless chorus are great. 4/5

"half a world away"

simple and downbeat but really quite likeable even though i don't usually like stipe when he's bleating on like this. 3/5

"texarcana"

this one just sounds fantastic, doesn't it? dreamy yet invigorating. they should do more like this. 4/5

"country feedback"

the album's hypnotic masterpiece. it might well be their best song ever. 5/5

"me in honey"

another winner and the perfect end to the album. it does finish strongly, this album, doesn't it? 4/5
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Postby Clippernolan » 09 Jan 2006, 22:41

I like "Shiny Happy People". Sue me. It's loaded with irony - sarcasm, I'd say. That appeals to me. Plus, I like Kate Pierson's voice on it, along with anything else she sings. Do your worst, Mr. Coan. :)
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Postby Bungo the Mungo » 09 Jan 2006, 22:43

Clippernolan wrote:I like "Shiny Happy People". Sue me. It's loaded with irony - sarcasm, I'd say. That appeals to me. Plus, I like Kate Pierson's voice on it, along with anything else she sings. Do your worst, Mr. Coan. :)


I much prefer that to any of Stipe's 'oh oh oh triumphal architect oh oh oh life in vision oh oh oh perambulator' fucking pseud wank.

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Postby nathan » 09 Jan 2006, 22:47

I hated this record then, and I hate it now. It just makes me cringe.

Though their next three had their moments for sure. I was a fan for a very short while because of those records. 'Drive' is a track that sounds so in it's own world that it captivates me no matter how many times I have heard it.

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Postby The Red Heifer » 09 Jan 2006, 23:18

It's not my favourite REM album by a long way, but I find it quite enjoyable if I'm in the mood. Hell, even Shiny Happy People's fun.
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Postby The Slider » 10 Jan 2006, 01:10

I don't care if you don't like it (and I agree with most of Griff's assessment - I liked, like and always will like Shiny Happy People, but Low and Endgame are boring) I like this album shitloads.

I also like Automatic, Green and Document.
I probably like them more than I like Murmer, Reckoning or Life's Rich Pageant in fact.
they have better tunes and are far less precious.
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Postby Carl's Son » 10 Jan 2006, 01:55

John Coan wrote:If I was drunk and lovesick, I still wouldn't agree with the yes-sayers' comments here. But I can't let you get away with praise for 'Near Wild Heaven' - a song sung so badly, so weakly, and with a melody so flimsy, that it would cause Ghandi to start the next World War.


I am not drunk, though i cannot say I am not lovesick but you are wrong, wrong. those backing vocals are great. The lyrics might seem simplistic but surely they are universal.

"Near Wild heaven...not near enough!"
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Postby LeBaron » 10 Jan 2006, 02:19

Penk Ref 41°N 93°W wrote:One of their two good albums, this one, actually.


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