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#244: Automatic for the People by R.E.M.

3.27.2012


Automatic for the People by R.E.M. (1992)

Favorite Track(s): "Drive" and "Try Not to Breathe" and "Everybody Hurts" and "Sweetness Follows" and "Monty Got a Raw Deal" and "Man on the Moon" and "Nightswimming" and "Find the River"

Thoughts: YESSSSSSS. Have we already had an R.E.M. album? I feel like we have, but maybe I'm making that up. It's very possible. I tried to look, but I have a hard time searching well for anagrams? abbreviations? acronyms. Figured it out.

I am super excited about this album because two of my all-time favorite songs EVER are on it: "Everybody Hurts" (who doesn't love this song?) and "Nightswimming." As I remember the days (and poorly, for my sanity's sake), I listened to both songs at least daily for a year, from Summer 2009 to Summer 2010. "Everybody Hurts" is, obviously, one of the most effective sad songs in the world that still lets you be sad while also comforting you. And "Nightswimming" reminded me so much of what I wanted my life to look like instead of how it did look.

But as I listened to this whole album, I realize all of it would have been helpful at that time in my life. "Try Not to Breathe" is just incredible.

I will try not to worry you
I have seen things that you will never see
Leave it to memory, me
Don't dare me to breathe

I want you to remember
I need something to fly (something to fly)
Over my grave again (you will never see)

Or "Sweetness Follows" (which its amazing orchestral arrangement):

It's these little things, they can pull you under
Live your life filled with joy and wonder
I always knew this altogether thunder
Was lost in our little lives

Oh, but sweetness follows
Oh, but sweetness follows

And upon looking for a video of "Nightswimming" I found this nice cover by Ingrid Michaelson:



Such a perfect song. Such a perfect song. Though the cover can't touch the original. The piano alone...I want to live and die in this song.

Is This Better Than The River?: Yes, at least as good, for the lyrics ALONE.

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