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Automatic For The People

R.E.M.

1992

Automatic For The People

Album Summary

Automatic for the People is the eighth studio album by American alternative rock band R.E.M., released by Warner Bros. Records on October 5, 1992 in the United Kingdom and Europe, and on the following day in the United States. R.E.M. began production on the album while their previous album, Out of Time (1991), was still ascending top albums charts and achieving global success. Aided by string arrangements from John Paul Jones, Automatic for the People features ruminations on mortality, loss, mourning and nostalgia. Upon release, it received widespread acclaim from critics, reached number two on the US Billboard 200, and yielded six singles. Rolling Stone reviewer Paul Evans concluded of the album, "This is the members of R.E.M. delving deeper than ever; grown sadder and wiser, the Athens subversives reveal a darker vision that shimmers with new, complex beauty." Automatic for the People has sold more than 18 million copies worldwide.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.78

Votes

5572

Genres

  • Rock
Reviews
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Wed Mar 17 2021
5

I unashamedly love this album. A lot of folks point to Document as R.E.M.'s best album but I would argue that it was simply the album that brought them into the mainstream spotlight. THIS is the best R.E.M. album. The songwriting, production, and performances are all on point. Sharp, emotional, layered and complex, it's just a damn good album from every angle. Even on the slow jams, there's an ENERGY that pulses behind the music that is just compelling. Back when I was doing critical listening as part of my degree, this was one of our reference albums—basically, an album that was SO well recorded and mixed that you could listen to it on super high-end audiophile equipment and pick it apart to understand what was going on.

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Wed Sep 15 2021
5

"Find The River" is a song I want to be played at my funeral. And that's probably because "Try Not To Breathe" would be considered in bad taste by some (they'd be wrong, by the way). Although my close friends would understand and appreciate if I requested "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight" instead. For my money, "Find The River" is the definitive album closer. Especially for THIS album, with themes like mortality, suicide, aging, and Andy Kaufman. This is one of those albums that shaped me and got me through a few turbulent moments. I know every song like I do scenes from a favorite movie I've seen multiple times. It's Stipe, Berry, Buck and Mills at the peak of their powers. "Drive" is something of a response to the David Essex classic "Rock On" with incredible string arrangements by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones of all people. "Sidewinder" is a similar riff on "The Lion Sleeps Tonight. One of the most known songs," Everybody Hurts" is REM's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and destined to be covered endlessly for generations to come. Stipe's moments of clarity and levity flow together seamlessly. The Mike Mills backup vocals standout even more than usual here, again underlying REM's secret weapon. This is one of those Desert Island albums. It's timeless. But it can still take me back to the Fall of 1992, the spring of 1998, or most of 2017. And it's far and away my favorite album of the 117 I've listened to so far on this list.

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Fri Sep 25 2020
5

One of the best albums, all-time. And best closing 3 songs ever. Sweetness Follows is underrated.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

Classic roots rock. It sounds big, it really takes up space. And Michael Stipe has such an iconic voice. “I’m not scared, I’m out of here” is a great closing line for an album that spanned so far

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Wed Sep 16 2020
3

Boring!

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Wed Apr 28 2021
5

For an embarrassingly long time, I thought I didn't like R.E.M. because Losing My Religion sucks. I was right about that song, but I've seen the error of my ways when it comes to the band. This album was a huge part of that. There's something to like about nearly every track. It's just a bunch of thoughtful, well executed jams. Best track: Man on the Moon

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Tue Oct 06 2020
5

Best album by one of the all time best bands.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

The sound of my youth. Almost perfect album.

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Sun Apr 11 2021
5

Wow, did not expect this but this is a masterpiece.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

quality + nostalgia = 5 stars

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Drive is such a great track on this record. The strings add a lot to the feel of melancholy and sadness. One of my favorite REM albums.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
3

Not my cup of tea completely but happy to drink it anyway

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Mon May 17 2021

4.5/5

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Incredible- correlation between the America we are living in currently, my dad loves this band and I think I finally do too

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Thu Feb 25 2021
5

Just perfect in almost every way.

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Thu May 20 2021
5

Pretty much exactly what I expected, which isn't a bad thing.

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Fri Apr 16 2021
5

I was already a giant R.E.M. fan when this came out... and this is clearly one of their best. A spectacular album.

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Thu May 20 2021
5

One of the best of all time. Mix of styles, pacing, and just all round greatness.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

The second repeat! Much more welcome than Kate Bush. Going from R.E.M.'s debut to their 8th album is a huge jump. The band is more confident, more powerul, and more in the groove. This album has a bunch of hits on it, and the non-hit tracks still slap. Very, very enjoyable. Hung out for a while listening to live cuts and demos. I'm not sure if this deserves a straight 5, but it's miles ahead of Murmer, which I gave a 4.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Forgot how amazing this was. Certified BANGER.

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Tue Jun 22 2021
5

This album sounds huge. The strings and acoustic guitars are lush and warm, the electric guitars scream, the drums pop like they're in a cave and everything else (keys, organ/synths, horns) is produced incredibly. Coupled with the vocals, this album is a soundtrack to a revelation

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

more like automatic five the people

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Sat Feb 06 2021
1

Boring

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Wed Mar 16 2022
1

I truly dislike everything about REM. Couldn’t finish.

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Sun Apr 11 2021
5

Phenomenal.

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Sat Jan 30 2021
5

Remagnífico.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

This is another example of a band that I already know about (actually, I like very much R.E.M. songs) but never listened to this whole album in a row. For this experiment of 1001 albums, this is just the third one but is for sure the best until now. It's really worth it!

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

Quizás su mejor trabajo. Por lo menos, a mi, el que más me gusta

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

This album reminds me of my time as a teenager or even my time transitioning into a middle aged man. It is slow and thoughtful

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Loved it, best album we've listened to

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Tue Mar 23 2021
5

Love this album ❤️

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Mon Mar 29 2021
5

R.E.M. en estado puro. Paradigma del indie norteamericano, lleno de temazos. Uno de los mejores discos de los 90. Básico en cualquier colección.

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

Обнаружил, что снёс дискографию R.E.M. с винта. И тут даже пожалел. Благо, на плеере осталась. При марафонном прослушивании как-то ухо альбом вовсе не выцепило в своё время. А ныне слушаю - всё по кайфу. Интересные аранжировки, подбор инструментов, композиционные решения, отличный звук, внятные мелодии, яркие вокальные партии. На голову выше дебютника. Тупа стали профессионалами, но не успели скатиться. Вчерась всё по кайфу было, думал опосля слухану, подумаю, и сёнь всё по кайфу. Значит - топ, надо брать.

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Wed May 26 2021
5

R.E.M. is an incredible band and this might be my favorite album of theirs. I'm usually quite reluctant to apply labels like "favorite" or "best," or to rank an artist's or group's output, so I use "favorite" here in lower-case letters or parenthetically, mostly to indicate how I gravitate towards it. I don't want to diminish my affection for their other work. All that being said, there's a depth and texture to this album that makes it stand out for me in R.E.M.'s impressive catalog. It's odd to say this, but I actually believe this band is underrated, as are the four individual members as musicians and songwriters. I am particularly fond of Peter Buck (my view: because he didn't rip massive solos, even though he was more than capable of it, he is not talked about as much as other rock/pop/alt guitarists, but he's fantastic) and Mike Mills (quiet and cerebral, so not a limelight guy, he's an amazing bassist, pianist, singer, and writer). What I learned from the Wiki entry that's linked to this album is the John Paul Jones (yes, as in Led Zeppelin's JPJ) contributed string arrangements to four tracks on this album. That is super-cool (JPJ is another way, way underrated musician).

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Thu May 27 2021
5

A work of genius and after 30 years I still listen to it regularly. My favourite track has changed several times over the years. Starting with Nightswimming, then moving on to Everybody Hurts (once described by Peter Buck as an example of Michael Stipe "polishing a turd") but lately it's been the amazing and still prescient Ignoreland. And John Paul Jones arranged the strings. This is up there with Graceland and Led Zep II (of what we've heard so far) with a serious claim to be in the top 10 of best albums ever recorded.

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Tue May 04 2021
5

Loved it, played it multiple tomes

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Fri May 07 2021
5

Classic!

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Thu Jul 15 2021
5

R.E.M.'s best, imho, and a formative album for me. My father had it and I hadn't listened to them before. Going thru his collection, I pulled it out while looking for something else (probably Pink Floyd or Van Halen or Depeche Mode (which, boy, that was a weird group for a conservative cop to listen to or Roger Water's solo stuff, you get the idea) and he told me I could have it. It was this album and, oddly enough, Chris Isaak's Heart Shaped World. I asked my dad why he didn't want it and he said it was "faggoty shit". Now, at this point, I was young and still only vaguely aware that my orientation might be different than my peers. Well I took it, only vaguely guessing as to what Faggoty Shit could refer to when he never made the same gestures at Elton John (who my mother loved). What I think he meant by that was 'sensitive'. Automatic For The People is a remarkably empathetic, deeply personal feeling album that doesn't get buried in itself and instead decides to thread those personal anxieties, loves and thoughts through a warm and lived in sonic space. Nostalgia, politics, mortality, romance and sexuality all mesh together in a sweet sort of late summer dusk-to-autumn cycle of Queer Americana. As time would go one, I'd deeply appreciate how much I see myself in this record. The popculture-to-political focus of Man on the Moon. The intimacy, excitement and rush of Night Swimming. The strokes to find yourself in bigger pictures with haunted melancholic undertones of Find The River and Sweetness Follows. The interpersonal spaces of impossible to ignore politics by the way of Ignoreland. It's a chronicle. It's tragic and beautiful. But sonically it's tight. A refinement of ideas explored in early R.E.M. records and represents a culmination of their sound before they'd experiment further. This is their best album. But that's what I love about R.E.M., their best is still equally good as other albums which could call their best (Document, Murmur, Reackoning, Monster, Hi-Fi, you could make a case for any of these).

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Sun Aug 01 2021
5

Easy 5. Even the non singles are ace. Monty got a raw deal...

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Tue Aug 03 2021
5

Clásico.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
5

This album has lots of punch. The band understands the importance of a good riff. Even  the acoustic songs have good opening riffs.  Two great examples are  the acoustic riffs to start Drive and Monty Got A Raw Deal.  The vocal melodies make for memorable songs. An example is the catchy melody ("Call me when you wake her) on The Sidewinder . . . It's hard to read about this album for more than two minutes before a name dropper mentions John Paul Jones and his contribution to the songs in the form of orchestration. My only negative comment on the album is that it would be better without him. I like when the electric guitar comes in on Drive and don't understand how making the guitar compete with strings helps the song.  Star me Kitten reminds me of the way the set list is put together for a live gig. You want to play something that lulls the crowd to sleep before playing your magical song so it will sound even better.  It worked! Man on the Moon is a gem! The band's first album was good. These guys developed into a music making machine.  Regardless of the strings and a song or two of filler I still have a 5 for them.

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Fri Aug 06 2021
5

Why no 6 star option. Clearly one of the all time greatest albums.

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Tue Aug 17 2021
5

Quando a perfeição é sentida ao escutar esta criação.

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Thu Aug 19 2021
5

Doesn't get much better than that!

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Mon Sep 20 2021
5

Nightswimming, The River, Man On The Moon, EVERYBODY HURTS. What a list of tracks! R.E.M is just one of those artists that can get you feeling every type of emotion throughout their music, and it's a beautiful thing because so. Incredible vocals of the 80s/ 90s.

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Tue Sep 21 2021
5

Love this album! Poignant lyrics, endearing ennui, wistful storytelling.

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Fri Sep 24 2021
5

Seminal album for me.

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Fri Sep 24 2021
5

awesome love it

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Sat Sep 25 2021
5

One of my favorite albums of all time. I somehow love it more each time I listen to it. Maybe not the most representative of R.E.M. as a whole, but goddamn, what a gorgeous emotional piece of work.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
5

Probably the pinnacle of their production. R.E.M. don't get better than this record, for me.

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Sat Oct 09 2021
5

Machtig mooi! En tijdloos!

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Mon Oct 18 2021
5

Awesome

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Tue Oct 19 2021
5

Rating: 9/10 Beat songs: Drive, Everybody hurts, Ignoreland, Man on the moon

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Fri Oct 22 2021
5

Probably REM's best album (and that's saying a lot, given the "competition"). Made even better through John Paul Jones' arrangements on some of the songs, which renders them pure magic.

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Sun Oct 31 2021
5

This is my favorite REM album. The lyrics, the acoustics, and Stipes' voice just speaks directly to my soul. It has a very special place in my heart.

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Mon Nov 01 2021
5

I’d never describe myself as an R.E.M fan but this album is undeniable. Classic track after classic track, I don’t really see how anyone could give this less than 5

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Everybody Hurts

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

Great songs

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

What a great album! Up until now, I have only really listened to R.E.M when it appears in a party playlist. I think it's a much better listening experience in album form, i.e. not such a mood killer. This album is going on the replay list. 5/5

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Fri Nov 19 2021
5

The album that saw REM confirm their place as global megastars. An album packed full of melancholy and beauty.

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

Hi: Drive, Monty Got A Raw Deal, Ignoreland, Star Me Kitten Lo: NONE Thanks for eating my review, generator! Anyways, this is an important album, one of the best from '92 (a year that birthed ton of excellent music) and almost 30 years later still holds up. If you don't love this album, you're an idiot.

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Sat Dec 11 2021
5

Takes me back to playing roller coaster tycoon

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Thu Dec 16 2021
5

Awesome album, maybe the first five star that I hadn't listened to all the way through before. My favourites were nightswimming and drive, but even the instrumental was brilliant. I'm definitely going to explore more R.E.M. when I get a chance, to see what other wonders share albums with songs I know!

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Fri Dec 17 2021
5

Oh man. I really slept on this album and can't believe what I missed. Everybody hurts got memed to death but it remains an amazing song. But my fave track remains "try not to breathe." For some reason their work reminds me of the Smiths. Though not sure why.

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Sun Jan 16 2022
5

Beautiful!

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Sat Jan 29 2022
5

Awesome

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Mon Feb 07 2022
5

Some classic tracks, brilliant all round album

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Tue Feb 08 2022
5

Absolutely loved it. The first album to melt my emotionless heart and give me goosebumps. I never really looked into R.E.M. despite really liking "Losing my Religion", but now I want to go and listen to their entire discography. Favorite songs: "Drive", "Try Not To Breathe", "Everybody Hurts", "Man on the Moon", "Find the River". I think the worst one would be the instrumental, but I can still appreciate it.

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Sat Feb 19 2022
5

Oni su mi baš sjeli negdje ljeti 2020te kad sam prešao iz Kapele u SPS raditi. Znam da sam putem ujutro njihove albume lupo često, najviše bi to bio Fables of the Reconstruction, Lifes Rich Pageant i ovaj. Ovaj album nije skroz savršen, ali je stvarno jako blizu ko što je sa mnoštvo njihovih (Document, LRP, FotR i Murmur), na RYM sam stavio 4.5, što i je tako, nije četvorka, jače je od toga, a pošto ovdje te jebene pola zvjezdice nemamo, morat ću dat peticu. Također, ovo je njihov zadnji album koji me se tako jako dojmio. Imali su 5 jako jako odličnih albuma u nizu, onda su došla 2 average albuma pa tek onda ovaj, i dalje je historija.

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Sat Feb 19 2022
5

Automatic Five, People!

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Wed Mar 09 2022
5

I really like this album, and very much enjoyed listening to it again. I also seem to like REM more the older I get.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

Masterpiece

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Tue Mar 15 2022
5

I forgot how much I enjoyed REM. Took me back to college days when my history prof would plan this as background music.

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Fri Mar 18 2022
5

4.7 - First, "Everybody Hurts" is a perfectly realized pop song with an impeccable structure, measured instrumental arrangement, universally relatable message and transcendent vocal performance. Second, the more "secondary" hits (if they can be called that) are also incredible. From "Man on the Moon" with Stipe's breathy vocals and the slide guitar pre-chorus, to "Drive" with its dark lyrical repetition, to "Nightswimming" with its gorgeous piano composition. Third, the overall album flow is so artful and balanced, striking the right notes at (almost) every turn. Up until now I've remained a reluctant R.E.M fan, having endured "Losing My Religion" played on merciless repeat in '89. Definitively, this album breaks that reluctance. With the exception of "Ignoreland" that somewhat sours the middle with some generic political bellyaching, this is an exceptional record.

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Mon Mar 21 2022
5

album filled with insane songs

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Fri Mar 25 2022
5

Alright, let's just disclose the bias from the get-go. This album came out when I was just getting into music around the age of 13. So it has nostalgic value. I do not own it but all my classmates who were more knowledgeable of music did. I still remember one classmate (who was a big Beatles fan at 13, so he can't be all wrong) telling me Nightswimming was hands down the best song on the album. Probably 10 years later I was rediscovering the album and I had to agree. I ran into him at a bar once and told him that. It's just a beautiful composition (love Mike Mills' piano) and one I could play on repeat for weeks on end. And I just learned John Paul Jones provided the string arrangements on it and two other of my favorites. I mean, how can you not love that? To me, this album was the pinnacle of their greatest songwriting period (1987-1995ish). I still don't really love Drive or Man on the Moon - both are waaay overplayed - but they don't suck. And there are some great lesser knowns - Try Not to Breathe (a superior brooding song to those two well-knowns), the Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite (super fun), Find the River (a nice closer with a John Denver feel that grows on you). Even songs like New Orleans Instrumental Vol. 1 through to Ignoreland, which are not as good as the others, have a certain edge to them. Some if it is Peter Buck's scratchy guitar work, some of it is the excellent lyrics, some of it is other backing instruments. Funny enough, I have never got tired of Everybody Hurts - something about it affects me every time, especially the crescendo that starts around the 4 minute mark. Listening again, I realize the album's sad and darker tones also likely play a big role in why I'm drawn to it. Still I guess it's like 6 great songs, 4 good songs, and a couple so-so songs. It feels like at least 4.5 and giving it a 4 would counteract my bias but I'm just going to embrace it.

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Fri Apr 01 2022
5

Love this album!

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Fri Apr 01 2022
5

Really good, enjoyed it a lot. My favourite was Nightswimming, thought it was great.

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Wed Apr 06 2022
5

Ens va sorprendre a tots. Ningú esperava això després d''Out of Time'. Semblava que la banda ja havia arribat al cénit de la seva carrera amb 'Losing My Religion' i la resta de singles extasiants que s'havien tret de la màniga... i ens donen no un disc que estava a l'alçada, sinó una obra mestra indiscutible i que competeix de tu a tu amb molt pocs altres per ser reivindicat com a millor disc dels '90. Obscur, melangiós, pessimista.. i increïblement inspirat. No hi ha cap tema que no sigui meravellós i alguns d'ells estan entre el millor que ha donat la música rock

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Mon Apr 11 2022
5

Prior to this release I considered R.E.M. a band that I liked very much but didn’t love. I thought their releases were uniformly good, but not excellent. Automatic for the People changed that for me. The move from jangle pop to more moody and reflective songs resonated with me and I think resulted in their most cohesive and overall strongest work.

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Thu Apr 14 2022
5

This helped us through a very rough period. Wise, thoughtful and empathic songs, performed beautifully. A record for healing

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Thu Apr 21 2022
5

It's funny, I know every note, intimately, of Out of Time, the album before Automatic for the People. It was my constant companion through a rough patch of my life. Not out of love for REM but for purely circumstantial reasons. Which wore a groove in my heart where REM can fit. That said I've never given any time to Automatic for the People; I only know the hits. But I'm happy to take it for a spin. Initial impression is that it is musically similar but a bit sadder and darker maybe a little more sophisticated. Having listened twice this album is absolutely devastatingly gorgeous to listen to. The sound of it, the mood, the completely realized themes. Everybody Hurts is an iconic, seminal work. Try Not To Breath, Sweetness Follows and Monty Got a Raw Deal and Find The River are also incredibly powerful, of course along with Drive and Man On The Moon. Indeed all the songs offer something worthy. A genuine five star album. I regret not having visited before.

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Thu Apr 21 2022
5

Outstanding

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Sun May 08 2022
5

Rock alternativos. Varios megahits. Vinilo.

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Fri May 20 2022
5

It was nice to have a replay of this! Such a big part of my early 90s listening

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Wed May 25 2022
5

A delightful album, evocative and poetic and it sounds beautiful - the layering of the instruments, especially acoustic, is exquisite. There is a style and mood and confidence about REM at this point and I appreciate they’ve switched up the template. The four album run of Out of Time / Automatic… / Monster and my personal favourite, New Adventures in Hi Fi (go figure) is really impressive. Stipe is at his most engaging and emotionally connected with this album and there are some real tearjerkers - Drive, Everybody Hurts, Nightswimming, Find the River are truly moving moments. Throw in a but of levity with Sidewinder and Man in the Moon, pick up the tempo with Ignoreland and it’s really satisfying. A modern classic.

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Thu May 26 2022
5

This is a seriously great album with some amazing songs on it. I remember even in 1992 thinking that REM were geniuses. That still holds.

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Tue Jun 07 2022
5

One of the most vital albums of its time.

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Wed Jun 08 2022
5

Discazo!!!!

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Sat Jun 18 2022
5

94/100 1 Everybody Hurts 2 Man on the Moon 3 Nightswimming

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Sat Jun 25 2022
5

Joya

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Tue Jun 28 2022
5

Majestic

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Fri Jul 08 2022
5

Class

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Fri Jul 08 2022
5

4.75/5 is my real rating

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Thu Jul 14 2022
5

So... yeah... this is pretty great. I can't imagine what it was like to listen to this in 1992? And to me the older this album gets, the more favorable people will continue to view it. I think this album is captivating from start to finish, even the non singles are good songs and fit with the theme of the album. This album proved that mid-tempo albums had a place in music when done well, and I am guessing there aren't many mid-tempo albums done any better than this. You feel Stipe's emotions in these songs. Like this is his therapy and he is trying to get something out that has troubled him for a very long time. Everybody Hurts is a song 30 years ahead of its time. What an enjoyable listen.

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

Amazing- brings back memories of being a teen and seeing them play in Edinburgh

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

This was an important album in my life.

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Tue Jul 26 2022
5

Classic

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

Part of me want to denounce R.E.M. for stifling the growth of black music and keeping it pale and stale. But then another part of me recognises that this is pretty much the perfect pop album. Sidewinder still makes me smile today. It's not all sweet and sugar - it can get quite dark with Drive and Everybody Hurts. It stands up as a complete album. That's something that is often overlooked these days. It has a start, a middle and an end.

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Tue Aug 02 2022
5

'Automatic for the People' is perhaps R.E.M.'s greatest in a long and impressive catalog. This collection of songs is more sparse than previous offerings, and is often more subdued. The string arrangements by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones are exquisite, and give Michael Stipe's vocals and lyrics an edge that highlights their despair and humor. Because this album is so sparse, there is an expansiveness that allows the listener to hear every single thing that is going on. This lends the album an intimacy that few albums achieve. This album became instantly one of my favorites upon the first listen.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
5

Everybody Hurts. 5

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Fri Aug 05 2022
5

Rock alternativos. Varios megahits. Vinilo.

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Tue Aug 09 2022
5

REM REMREM

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Thu Aug 11 2022
5

Fantastic album. Every track still holds up

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

Great album

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

Absolutely fantastic from start to finish

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

This was always my go-to REM album, so if any of their works will get a top rating from me, it is this one. Not all songs are equally impressive, but overall, this is still a very good album.

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

Standard REM album.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
5

A gorgeous album that sees one of the greatest American bands of all time expand their musical pallete, with some of their absolute best songs

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Thu Aug 25 2022
5

A banger.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
5

So sweet and beautiful

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Sun Sep 11 2022
5

A brilliant blend of jangle/baroque pop infused with some alt rock on the side. I am not complaining getting two jangle pop records in a row, it's starting to become a favourite genre. Favourite Tracks: - Man on the Moon - Drive - Try Not to Breathe - Nightswimming - Find the River - Everybody Hurts - The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite - Monty Got a Raw Deal - Sweetness Follows Overall Grade: 5/5 (A / A-)

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Fri Sep 16 2022
5

"Automatic for the People" is the 8th studio album by R.E.M. Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry began working on this during the mixing of their previous album "Out of Time." The band didn't tour for "Out of Time" and "Automatic for the People" so they pretty much got to work on it right away. I remember that. They intended to make a more rockin' album. Well, that didn't happen. A lot of the songs are slower and deal with mortality, death, loss and nostalgia. Peter Buck said they were turning 30 and a lot of bands they grew up with in the 80's like The Replacements and Husker Du were no more and it seeped into the music. They actually intentionally put in more rockin' songs to break-up the somber mood. The string arrangements, a key part of this album, were done by John Paul Jones. The album name is based on a motto from a local Athens, GA eatery and the album cover was a picture of a star ornament from Miami hotel. Six of the twelve songs were released as singles. Wow! Some of these songs are among my favorite R.E.M. I honestly didn't know what to think when I first heard the album's first single and song "Drive." I was kind of like "Eh." It reminded me of "The Fly" from "Achtung Baby." I have a better appreciation of actually both songs today. "Drive" starts slow. An admitted homage to David Essex's "Rock On." Change your own live; make your own decisions. Things then get a lot more serious with one of my favorite R.E.M. songs "Try Not to Breathe." It's about Michael Stipe's grandmother dying. The is slow, a waltz. Gorgeous emotional lead and backing vocals. The band purposely lighten things up with the third more rockin' song "The Sidewinder Sleep Tonight." Influenced by and they paid the rights for "The Lion Sleeps Tonite." Peter Buck hates this song. Come on Pete! It's not "Shiny Happy People" or "Stand." The cool organ is worth it. So, we get to "Everbody Hurts." A song first written by their drummer (a lot more in reality) Bill Berry. A drum machine. Great string arrangements and melody. A song directly aimed at teens about suicide and not giving up. What a song! I think the highlight of the second side are the last three songs. Every song I'm skipping is good too. "Man on the Moon" was the second single and is more upbeat musically. It's hard to write about a song you've heard so many times. Although, I did listen deeper to the lyrics which are about not believing in everything you're told using nostalgia references like Andy Kaufman, man on the moon and Monopoly. "Nightswimming" is in my R.E.M. top ten. Perfect piano and strings. Looking back at memories and the loss of innocence and youth. Sadly beautiful. The album ends appropriately with "Find the River." Acoustic guitar, backing vocals and Bil Berry on the melodica. Is it about growing up and finding your direction? Or is it about coming to your river's end? Or both? R.E.M. had an incredible run of albums from their EP "Chronic Town" in 1982 through "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" in 1996. I've always said that any one of those albums could be your favorite and I'd probably agree with your argument. "Automatic for the People" is a top five R.E.M. album for me.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
5

I love this album. For me, Out of Time is the favourite but this is still incredible stuff.

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Mon Oct 17 2022
5

Ah, so I always merely tolerated REM. But even I can see what an incredible - if melancholic album this is. The sheer importance of songs like Everybody Hurts is staggering, the quality of the album incredible. It's quite something

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

R.E.M yes bloody awesome I loved murmur so to have their most popular album now is cool… I’am not gonna talk about my personal life on here but i’am going through a little bit of shit and music like this really cheers me up so I guess 5/5.

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Wed Oct 19 2022
5

I think it’s a nearly perfect album. What keeps it from being that for me is the instrumental. And that’s just nitpicking. Everybody Hurts is one of my favorite songs.

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Fri Oct 21 2022
5

Another one I bought (on the day of release?), 30 years ago now! Was never my favorite REM album, although stuff like Sidewinder and Everybody Hurts has aged fine and was loved at the time despite being viewed as a bit "commercial/embarrassing" in retrospect sometimes. This is all really excellent throughout. Didn't know how good we had it.

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Tue Oct 25 2022
5

One of the best albums ever. Soul juice, it soothes.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
5

As a kid of the 80s REM was a band I was "supposed" to like but when my go-to acts were Van Halen and the like.... it was a big/strong/closed-minded NO from me, right on into college. It's the end of the world and guh this song sucks fk no no no no. So I can vividly recall where I was in Cambridge MA in 1992 when I heard "Ignoreland" on the radio without knowing the band until afterwards ("...that was REM? ....hmmm...") - having grown tired of my usual musical interests, I went to Newbury Comics that day and bought my first REM album not having heard a single cut from the rest of it - I took a shot. And loved it all immediately and still do to this day. OK I could honestly skip the treacly hit "Everybody Hurts" every time and never miss it but that just feels like a harmless outlier; that's the only semi-throwaway on the entire album. I'd initially considered "Drive" to be an odd opener; a slow-starter if you will - but I've since seen it as a feature rather than a bug. It preps the listener for so many songs that could be (and were) hit-worthy, and not even counting the gorgeous cuts like "Try Not to Breathe" "Sweetness Follows" and "Nightswimming" - all brilliant highlights. They'd largely moved on from their early days of mumble lyrics and jangly Rickenbacker chords (which only a decade late finally hit me in the right places) and it must have been the perfect time/place for me to embrace this one - while this album rarely if ever sounds huge* this is a lush sounding record driven largely by clear acoustic guitars, and perfectly accompanied by accordions, mandolins, intelligible vocals, and perfectly accessible yet memorable melodies. * the notable/cool exception is the brilliant and huge "Ignoreland" - is this REM channeling early-mid period Who? I mostly don't care much about lyrics but this one strikes a direct hit on the plague that Reagan brought to the US/world, etc. Read those lyrics today in 2022 and sadly/terrifyingly they apply even more. Long-belated thanks to WBCN radio in Boston for that fateful afternoon drive. Tremendous album. 9/10 5 stars.

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Tue Nov 08 2022
5

This is REM’s 90’s masterpiece. Great album so many great songs. REM are such a great band and very underrated in the U.K. in my opinion.

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Wed Nov 09 2022
5

apparently i’d entirely forgotten that this album was in the background for the majority of my childhood, so thanks mom! i’ll fully admit to bias here, but i just love this album a lot.

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Thu Nov 10 2022
5

This is a very fine record, it was a pleasure listening to it for the first time in a while. When I live in Adelaide it was a car cd for our trips to Melbourne, Broken Hill et al as it is a classic open road record, great singalong tunes, strange and wonderful words and some time fine playing. The three players are a top shelf unit and I love any combo that does the instrument swap, it always leads to different sounds. Bill Berry is a standout here in terms of the songwriting, they drifted after he left. Michael is at his absolute best, he knows what to do with the tunes, even if Man on The Moon just reminds me that Andy Kaufman gave me the shits. As a late comer to this process this is the closest I've come to a truly great album.

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Thu Nov 10 2022
5

wonderful, full of gems

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Fri Nov 18 2022
5

5*

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Sat Nov 19 2022
5

This seminal album of my youth has held up well over 30 years. It feels like 1992 all over again. Lots of great songs-well recorded and not many duds. Maybe that Monty song, that’s about it. Ignoreland, Drive and Sweetness Follows are gems.

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Thu Nov 26 2020
4

Solid album, with plenty of solid songs

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

Nice and chill rock music for the working student.

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Tue Dec 15 2020
4

Usually I don’t like being sad. BUT NOT TODAY

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Tue Oct 06 2020
4

Own. Fave song “Nightswimming”

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Tue Dec 15 2020
4

REM was the great counterbalance to grunge. Still feels very 90s and relatable today.

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Sat Jan 23 2021
4

love REM, great album

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

Ok - alot of tracks on the radio

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

That was a good record. Sounds like REM

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Sat Apr 24 2021
4

Awesome album.

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Sun Jan 17 2021
4

Great album. Singles are amazing. Ahead of its time for the early 90a. Bet a lot of mid to late 90s bands got their sound from here. Listened to it on shuffle (by mistake) hoping to give it another listen as an album. Only thing keeping it from being 5 stars for me is some of the other tracks are just ok and some of the lyrics seem pretentious

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Tue Feb 23 2021
4

Nice. I don't have much to say about it other than that.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

Not bad. Familiar, but new.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

Brought back good memories. Loaded with hits and big melodies dripping with pathos and sadness

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Melancholy but hummable. “Sweetness Follows” alone is worth the price of admission.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
4

Had lots of REM going on in the car with dad. Everybody Hurts and Man on the Moon are eternal classics but had never heard Ignoreland or Find the River which were also sick

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

Lyrically, it’s right up there with the best Michael’s ever done. At the time of release, it was certainly jockeying with Murmur for their best album. Now, I think it’s maybe fallen just a taste because “Everybody Hurts” just doesn’t thrill me. “Ignoreland” feels like an outtake, musically. Of course, we weren’t in the Clinton era yet, so I get it. And I’ve never loved “Nightswimming.” Yet every other song is Hall of Fame, particularly “Sweetness Follows,” “Monty,” and “Man on the Moon.” Its notable status firmly in the grunge era can’t be ignored either. This seems like a classic 4.5 situation if we could do halfsies.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

Curiosamente el sábado me dieron ganas de escuhar R.E.M. porque estaba platicando de Andy Kaufman y 'Man on The Moon'. No conocía este disco completo y las que no fueron sencilos o éxitos de algún tipo son también canciones muy buenas. En particular me gustan 'Man on the Moon', 'Night Swimming' e 'Ignoreland'.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

Tal vez en algún momento escuché un disco completo de R.E.M. pero seguramente no fue este. No sabía que conocía mas canciones de la banda y sobre todo de este disco, Everybody hurts es de mis favoritas y trae unas joyitas perdidas como drive, find the river Creo que es una banda a la que no se le ha dado el lugar que merece como exponente del alternativo

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Sat May 08 2021
4

Very good rock album. Way better than Murmur, R.E.M. feels like a fully realised band on this one.

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Tue Feb 16 2021
4

Had to listen to this a couple of times and listen to the R U Talkin' R.E.M. RE: Me? episode on it to get into it a bit more. Outside of the hits, I started to appreciate "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" and "Ignoreland" on these listens

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Very good early 90s that is able to sound like any era. Favorite songs were Drive, Nightswimming, Find the River, NOLA Instrumental No. 1. Least favorite, probably Marty? Still really enjoyed the whole way through.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Wasn’t super into it at first, but really liked it by the end.

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Tue Feb 16 2021
4

Solid. A little slow for me. I like a smattering of older REM

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Thu Mar 25 2021
4

Very familiar with this album, listened to it a lot around the time it came out. Great album. 4 Stars.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

Me sorprende lo poco que conozco de REM, no tengo idea de sus tiempos, cronología, en qué disco viene qué canción... y a pesar de eso conozco muchas de sus canciones. Siempre se me hicieron como la alternativa al grunge, música de rock alternativo que mantuvo su esencia de sonido agradable y brillante a pesar de cómo todas las otras bandas iban hacia otro lado. Drive y Monty's Got a Raw Deal me gustaban desde hace mucho y ni qué decir sobre Everybody Hurts o Man on the Moon, el hecho de tener sencillos tan quemadísimos y sonados millones de veces, y que me sigan gustando habla harto bien del disco. Varias canciones que no conocía como Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight, Night Swimming o Fight the River bastante decentes, pero también se sienten un par de canciones que terminan medio de relleno sin mucha propuesta y que vienen y van sin pena ni gloria (sobre todo esa instrumental). En general me gusto el disco bastante, aunque sospecho que Out of Time me gustará más... ya veremos tampoco lo he escuchado nunca completo.

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Tue Apr 06 2021
4

Rock alternativo. Muy bueno.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

I listened to the hell out of this at the time so I clearly loved it, but not my favorite. Just a little too poppy compared to some of their more complex stuff.

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Thu Apr 22 2021
4

The singer has a very unique voice and I think its one of the best 90s band, this album I did not knew well but a couple of songs but it didn't matter I still enjoyed it.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
4

Nightswimming is one of my new favorite REM songs

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Mon Mar 01 2021
4

pretty cool, chill rock

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

lines about marching into the capital mirroring current day events was so weird

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

Always love me some R.E.M.!

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Fri Mar 05 2021
4

A lot of Nostalgia listening to this album. Good stuff

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

This album is an entire mood.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

I live REM, but this album is full of sad introspection and I’ve played it a lot so somewhat played out. Lots of really good tracks.

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Tue Mar 16 2021
4

Production: 11/20 Songwriting: 15/20 Innovation: 9/20 Bangers: 20/20 Emotional response: 14/20 =69 Yeah pretty good I guess

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

“Nightswimming” for me and Billie, but I think that Adubs is partial to “Find the River”

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Gorgeous arrangements aided by JPJ, the band at this point has ascended past punk, past alt rock, past pop rock, past acoustic pop, right into an acoustic art album that is as honest as it is grand. Not my favorite, as I'm partial to their more energetic enterprises, but an historical moment for the band and rock music (especially in the distorted, I-hate-my-parents 90s).

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Sat Feb 20 2021
4

Good Album - plenty of classics

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Mon Feb 22 2021
4

Very good

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Tue Jun 01 2021
4

Довольно неплохой альбом Рёма, но я осознаю, что он является таковым в основном на реактивной тяге открывающего сингла. Драйв — одна из лучших их песен, и некоторое время для меня была одной из лучших песен вообще. После такого ловишь настолько позитивный настрой, что остальные песни как будто становятся лучше. Но на самом деле ситуация такая же, как я и описывал. Первые три песни — годнота, Ignoreland и Nightswimming тоже. В Everybody Hurts я очень ценю посыл, наверное это реально хорошая песня, чтобы переживать реально не хорошие времена, но мне просто всегда было невыносимо скучно слушать её до конца. Man on the Moon вроде имеет хитовый потенциал, но бля, я просто не могу перешагнуть через факт, что это песня об Энди Кауфмане. Не то чтобы я не любил его, но бля, это же человек с одной из самых ебанутых энергетик на комедийной сцене. А сама песня звучит как сладенький попс с довольно раздражающими «е-е, е-е». Просто что-то не сходится в посыле этой песни и её звучании. Остальное — ну не говно, но и не западает никуда. Добрая половина альбома тянется просто как дженерик РЕМ песни, не вызывая эмоций и практически сразу же забываясь. Альбом не плохой ни в коем случае, думаю англоязычным людям он более понятен и близок. Но я едва ли могу поставить больше 7, хоть Драйв и охуенна.

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Wed Jun 30 2021
4

Brilliant album by great band. Played it to death in my college days. Best track - Find a river

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Thu May 27 2021
4

Love R.E.M. you always know it is them, but it is still a great variety of music. Michael Stipe has such a tender and soulful vocal. Perfectly captured in Everybody Hurts. If you aren't moved by that song, you have a heart of stone!

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Sun May 30 2021
4

-feels like a jog through a forest, no path in sight. carving your own way over rocks and through trees (as I continue listening this works less) -same vibe as brown stiff jackets -i really liked it! Very pretty

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Tue Jun 01 2021
4

Really enjoyed

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Fri Jun 04 2021
4

Drive, Everybody Hurts, Man in the Moon, of course. I was prepared for this to be just another boring REM album but am pleasantly surprised. Great feel, great performances. Some same-old guitar licks from Buck, but overall still sounds fresh.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
4

Obviously I know quite a few of the tracks. Drive - like it a lot. Try not to breathe - good too. Sidewinder sleeps tonight - as good as I remember. everybody hurts- yep. instrumental bit - why? sweetness follows - didn't thikn i knew this one, but it is familiar. I like it.! Monty gets a raw deal, passed me by a bit - very polite ignoreland - didn't know this one. Its fine, but nothing exceptional. star me kitten: slightly annoying. man on the moon - immediately recognisable. I like this one a lot. nightswimming - nice if a bit dull. would be nothing without Stipe being so good. Find the river: another one i didn't think i knew, but did. Nice! I really like this. Would have been 5 if it wasn't for the filler in the middle!

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Mon Jul 12 2021
4

Liked it

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Tue Jul 20 2021
4

Lots of bangers, to be fair Great production, great songwriting Such a well rounded album 4 stars

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Tue Jul 27 2021
4

REM is one of those rare bands where I like pretty much everything they put out throughout their entire career. This album might be their most dramatic. Has some really iconic songs on it. This was one that was in the CD players of the cars I would ride in back in it's day. Favorite tracks are Man on the Moon and Nightswimming.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
4

Chill. Creo que no es para mi. Es como... pos ta bien. Me gustaron Monty Got a Raw Deal, Ignore y Drive.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
4

This album is a huge leap from Murmer which I recently rated a 3. Much more mature writing and performances here with quite a few very solid songs.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
4

Just a great listen and an all-timer right here. The jams are pure gold and the lesser tracks aren't faster behind. Great record.

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Mon Aug 09 2021
4

Having grown up in the 90s, this just about sums it up. It's somehow depressing to listen to, but leaves me feeling hopeful - not sure how they pulled that off. Great instrumentation, really well-produced. Stipe's vocals are haunting and unmistakable. Everybody Hurts gets played a lot, but - dammit - it's a great song.

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Tue Aug 10 2021
4

liked the album favourite tracks: man on the moon, drive and nightswimmming some of the songs lacked 'something special'

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Fri Aug 27 2021
4

Buen disco

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Thu Sep 02 2021
4

Solid

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Wed Sep 08 2021
4

From alternative to experimental, one of the band's best.

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Tue Sep 14 2021
4

An enjoyable album, with some favourites contained in it. Some slow and fairly misery inducing songs. But, that's what R.E.M specialise in.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
4

Full of hits, and even a couple more that probably could have been hits too.

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Fri Sep 24 2021
4

Good music, good album. Wasn't struck quite as much by this one as by the previous R.E.M. album we've had. It just didn't quite feel inspiring enough for 5 stars. Favorite track: Man On The Moon

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Sat Sep 25 2021
4

Pretty good. There is something here that I missed… definitely gonna benefit from more listens.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

This was pretty good. Rolled from hit to hit

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Tue Oct 05 2021
4

They’ve got some good good songs this album had a few nothing bad at all to say would recommend. 4.4 / 5

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

Great album

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

Pretty great. 4/5

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Sat Oct 09 2021
4

Twijfelgeval. Ik hoor dat het goed is, maar ik heb er niet altijd zin in. 'Nightswimming' is geweldig.

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Sat Oct 09 2021
4

Prachtig!

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Sat Oct 09 2021
4

Prima, lekker om dit weer eens te horen. Destijds liet ik deze band links liggen..

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Sat Oct 09 2021
4

Full of classics

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Mon Oct 11 2021
4

Night Swimming <3

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Sun Oct 24 2021
4

Really good rock with an overhang to different subgenres

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Wed Oct 27 2021
4

Really enjoyed it, particularly some of the iconic songs like Everybody Hurts

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Fri Oct 29 2021
4

This is one of those behemoth albums that seemed to be in every record store, and most people's music collections. Insane that it's taken me this long to listen - especially given its quality. But it ain't perfect, not by a long chalk - the music can be quite beautiful, and REM do a fine line in melancholy, but the tempos can feel a little samey. Minor misgivings though!

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