Day Four of the Ten All-Time Favorites Challenge:
R.E.M.’s Out of Time
This was an album that my brother asked for on cassette the year it came out; neither of us were even ten years old. I wanted a copy, too, and so it was. From the time it begins to the time it ends, this album is a pleasurable joyride for the ear drums–starting with the raucous “Radio Song,” and flowing into the big radio hit, “Losing My Religion.” But consider this: there are tracks on here, as with most albums, that are complete gems gleaming out of time and sync with the music of it’s era. “Near Wild Heaven” never got airplay, unless some totally amazing college kid played it on his or her radio DJ slot on public radio somewhere.
Sandwiched between that fourth track of musical jubilance is “End Game,” a mellow tune, perfectly placed between the seemingly happy break-up song, “Near Wild Heaven” and the very well-known “Shiny Happy People.” Though an overplayed radio hit–this song, much like Chinese leftovers–never gets old. It was once deemed a song that can inspire happiness on any worst day. I believe it. I always close my eyes as I twirl around the living room, imagining I’m in a sunny field of flowers–a field akin to the scenery of the “No Rain” video by Blind Melon.
There is too much to say about the entirety of this album, dark and driving tunes like “Texarkana” and introspective/spoken poetry pieces like “Belong,” keep the record riveting your soul to the very end–and to the rewind you know you’ll partake in.
R.E.M. is still on my “must-see” bucket list of concerts, despite their retirement. I still have hope that I’m not out of time.
P.S. If you’re wondering, yes, R.E.M. stands for “rapid-eye movement,” that deep state of sleep where one dreams. The band allegedly chose this blindly by pointing at a random dictionary page!