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R.E.M.|Automatic For The People

Automatic For The People

R.E.M.

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Turning away from the sweet pop of Out of Time, R.E.M. created a haunting, melancholy masterpiece with Automatic for the People. At its core, the album is a collection of folk songs about aging, death, and loss, but the music has a grand, epic sweep provided by layers of lush strings, interweaving acoustic instruments, and shimmering keyboards. Automatic for the People captures the group at a crossroads, as they moved from cult heroes to elder statesmen, and the album is a graceful transition into their new status. It is a reflective album, with frank discussions on mortality, but it is not a despairing record -- "Nightswimming," "Everybody Hurts," and "Sweetness Follows" have a comforting melancholy, while "Find the River" provides a positive sense of closure. R.E.M. have never been as emotionally direct as they are on Automatic for the People, nor have they ever created music quite as rich and timeless, and while the record is not an easy listen, it is the most rewarding record in their oeuvre.

© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Automatic For The People

R.E.M.

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1
Drive
00:04:31

R.E.M., Producer, MainArtist - MICHAEL STIPE, ComposerLyricist - PETER BUCK, ComposerLyricist - William Berry, ComposerLyricist - SCOTT LITT, Producer - Michael Mills, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 R.E.M./Athens L.L.C. Under exclusive license to Concord Music Group, Inc.

2
Try Not To Breathe
00:03:51

R.E.M., Producer, MainArtist - MICHAEL STIPE, ComposerLyricist - PETER BUCK, ComposerLyricist - William Berry, ComposerLyricist - SCOTT LITT, Producer - Michael Mills, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 R.E.M./Athens L.L.C. Under exclusive license to Concord Music Group, Inc.

3
The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
00:04:09

R.E.M., Producer, MainArtist - MICHAEL STIPE, ComposerLyricist - PETER BUCK, ComposerLyricist - William Berry, ComposerLyricist - SCOTT LITT, Producer - Michael Mills, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 R.E.M./Athens L.L.C. Under exclusive license to Concord Music Group, Inc.

4
Everybody Hurts
00:05:20

R.E.M., Producer, MainArtist - MICHAEL STIPE, ComposerLyricist - PETER BUCK, ComposerLyricist - William Berry, ComposerLyricist - SCOTT LITT, Producer - Michael Mills, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 R.E.M./Athens L.L.C. Under exclusive license to Concord Music Group, Inc.

5
New Orleans Instrumental No. 1
00:02:16

R.E.M., Producer, MainArtist - MICHAEL STIPE, ComposerLyricist - PETER BUCK, ComposerLyricist - William Berry, ComposerLyricist - SCOTT LITT, Producer - Michael Mills, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 R.E.M./Athens L.L.C. Under exclusive license to Concord Music Group, Inc.

6
Sweetness Follows
00:04:21

R.E.M., Producer, MainArtist - MICHAEL STIPE, ComposerLyricist - PETER BUCK, ComposerLyricist - William Berry, ComposerLyricist - SCOTT LITT, Producer - Michael Mills, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 R.E.M./Athens L.L.C. Under exclusive license to Concord Music Group, Inc.

7
Monty Got A Raw Deal
00:03:18

R.E.M., Producer, MainArtist - MICHAEL STIPE, ComposerLyricist - PETER BUCK, ComposerLyricist - William Berry, ComposerLyricist - SCOTT LITT, Producer - Michael Mills, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 R.E.M./Athens L.L.C. Under exclusive license to Concord Music Group, Inc.

8
Ignoreland Explicit
00:04:27

R.E.M., Producer, MainArtist - MICHAEL STIPE, ComposerLyricist - PETER BUCK, ComposerLyricist - William Berry, ComposerLyricist - SCOTT LITT, Producer - Michael Mills, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 R.E.M./Athens L.L.C. Under exclusive license to Concord Music Group, Inc.

9
Star Me Kitten Explicit
00:03:17

R.E.M., Producer, MainArtist - MICHAEL STIPE, ComposerLyricist - PETER BUCK, ComposerLyricist - William Berry, ComposerLyricist - SCOTT LITT, Producer - Michael Mills, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 R.E.M./Athens L.L.C. Under exclusive license to Concord Music Group, Inc.

10
Man On The Moon
00:05:14

R.E.M., Producer, MainArtist - MICHAEL STIPE, ComposerLyricist - PETER BUCK, ComposerLyricist - William Berry, ComposerLyricist - SCOTT LITT, Producer - Michael Mills, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 R.E.M./Athens L.L.C. Under exclusive license to Concord Music Group, Inc.

11
Nightswimming
00:04:18

R.E.M., Producer, MainArtist - MICHAEL STIPE, ComposerLyricist - PETER BUCK, ComposerLyricist - William Berry, ComposerLyricist - SCOTT LITT, Producer - Michael Mills, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 R.E.M./Athens L.L.C. Under exclusive license to Concord Music Group, Inc.

12
Find The River
00:03:53

R.E.M., Producer, MainArtist - MICHAEL STIPE, ComposerLyricist - PETER BUCK, ComposerLyricist - William Berry, ComposerLyricist - SCOTT LITT, Producer - Michael Mills, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 R.E.M./Athens L.L.C. Under exclusive license to Concord Music Group, Inc.

Album review

Turning away from the sweet pop of Out of Time, R.E.M. created a haunting, melancholy masterpiece with Automatic for the People. At its core, the album is a collection of folk songs about aging, death, and loss, but the music has a grand, epic sweep provided by layers of lush strings, interweaving acoustic instruments, and shimmering keyboards. Automatic for the People captures the group at a crossroads, as they moved from cult heroes to elder statesmen, and the album is a graceful transition into their new status. It is a reflective album, with frank discussions on mortality, but it is not a despairing record -- "Nightswimming," "Everybody Hurts," and "Sweetness Follows" have a comforting melancholy, while "Find the River" provides a positive sense of closure. R.E.M. have never been as emotionally direct as they are on Automatic for the People, nor have they ever created music quite as rich and timeless, and while the record is not an easy listen, it is the most rewarding record in their oeuvre.

© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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