R.E.M. Around The Sun - I was completely wrong.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bvb1123, May 16, 2019.

  1. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian Thread Starter

    Cincinnati Ohio
    When this album came out in 2004 to say I was sadly disappointed would be a huge understatement. I actively hated the album. I couldn't understand how my favorite band could put out such a bland, tuneless album. I bought it on the day of the release and traded it in to Half-Price Books less than a week later. About 2 months ago I repurchased it simply because I had every other R.E.M. album and I'm a little OCD and a completist but never listened to it. Well, a day or two I gave it another chance. Well, 49 yr old me got what 34 yr old me didn't. This is a wonderful album. It's nothing to compare to anything up to Automatic For The People but it stands tall in their post-Berry years. It's all very laid-back and dreamlike. A perfect Sunday morning album. I won't go through all the songs but I will mention at least how beautiful the album opener "Leaving New York" is. It's wonderfully sublime. If you can enjoy this track you'll most likely enjoy the rest of the album. I'm stunned at how wrong I was about this album. It's every bit Up's equal and I dare say better than Reveal. I've spent 15 years disparaging this album to anyone and everyone, including in this forum. Well, this is my mea culpa. I was wrong. I admit it. This is one of R.E.M.'s truly hidden gems. And, to turn this into a question for everybody, has there ever been an album you hated/really disliked but then discovered it years later and realized you actually thought it was pretty darn good?
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  2. ifihadafish

    ifihadafish Forum Resident

    My wife is a big fan of REM. This album rarely gets an airing but she plays Leaving New York a lot from either a Greatest Hits or just YouTube, and its a mighty fine song. I must start looking into the post-berry albums more myself. I'm not a big fan of the band but can certainly listen to them and if I do it with the wife, should earn valuable Brownie Points lol

    I really hated Alice In Chains 'Dirt' album when it came out - took around 12 years for that one to click. On that tour I loved every second of the Facelift material and hated when they played then current album Dirt - a concert of two extremes for me - usually song by song hitting one high and then a mega low. If only I could revisit that gig now I thoroughly enjoy Dirt. I see the new version of the band next week, so its been 27 long years in between.
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  3. dharma bum

    dharma bum Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    Honestly I never made it through an entire song on Around the Sun. It was by far the quickest new album I ever got so disgusted with on first listen that I actually threw the CD across the room. Then I picked it up and gave it away that same night. I'm tempted now to give it another shot. REM is my third favorite band behind only the Beatles and the Stones, so maybe this thread is a reason to give the album another attempted listen.
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  4. Erick Haight

    Erick Haight Forum Resident

    Gaylord, Michigan
    Seconded, although I never hated it. ;-) Getting the 5.1 mix — and on the cusp of turning 49 myself — helped me appreciate its charms more now than I did then.

    (As to your last question, I had nothing but scorn for BOC for years, but now I’ve come to treasure their run from 1972 to 1981, Mirrors excluded. But that’s for another thread.)
  5. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian Thread Starter

    Cincinnati Ohio
    I actively despised it! Thought it was completely tuneless rubbish. Almost turned me against R.E.M. I'm quite stunned what a difference 15 years make. You should check it out. But understand it's very dreamlike and sublime. No readily catchy melodies but upon further listens beautiful melodies do indeed emerge. Like I mentioned a perfect Sunday morning album.
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  6. wavethatflag

    wavethatflag Clueless Wallob

    Pacifica, CA
    R.E.M. Around The Sun - I was completely wrong.

    No, you weren’t. Buck threatened to quit the band if they made another one like it.
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  7. Loved it then, still do.
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  8. blair207

    blair207 Forum Resident

    Fife, Scotland
    It’s very uninspiring. Leaving New York is great but the rest pretty boring. Some of the songs were better live. I saw them on the tour for it but the songs from this album were not the focus of the show. It’s a political statement in some ways. I think it’s their weakest album.
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  9. FourWalledWorld

    FourWalledWorld Forum Resident

    I liked it a lot upon release ("Leaving New York" being the obvious standout). It wouldn't be one I'd listen to as much today but it's still quite enjoyable.
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  10. googlymoogly

    googlymoogly Forum Resident

    I paid no attention to the album when it came out, but have since come around to its vibe. Very much one of those "greater than the sum of its individual parts" type of albums. It's not my favorite R.E.M., and I can certainly see why longtime fans didn't like it, but I think it holds up far better than its reputation suggests.
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  11. Useaname

    Useaname Forum Resident

    Seem to recall reading years back that the band couldn't leave it alone, kept reworking it and that's probably why some (myself included) find it rather lifeless and uninspiring. As someone earlier said, the tracks sounded better live. It's no unremitting disaster but one I rarely play.
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  12. mbrownp1

    mbrownp1 Forum Resident

    I wasn’t. It sucks. As does everything after Monster.
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  13. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian Thread Starter

    Cincinnati Ohio
    I'm not saying they should have made any more albums like this. But this album is a pretty decent addition to the R.E.M. oeuvre.
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  14. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Boston MA
    I think it's a defensible album with some very enjoyable songs. That doesn't keep it from being REM's worst one though.
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  15. recoverydog

    recoverydog Forum Resident

    There are some excellent songs on it.
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  16. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian Thread Starter

    Cincinnati Ohio
    To quote The Dude: Well,uh, yeah, that's just your opinion, man.
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  17. mbrownp1

    mbrownp1 Forum Resident

    Shut the **** up Donnie.
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  18. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian Thread Starter

    Cincinnati Ohio
    After careful consideration, and listening to the album 3 times in the last couple days I no longer think it's R.E.M.'s worst album. It's cohesiveness and the beautiful melodies elevate it above at least one or maybe 2 of their albums. Not saying which ones because I don't want to turn this into THAT kind of thread. Of course, it's all subjective. I just feel that I misjudged it 15 years ago and I'm here to atone for that. Really a good album.
  19. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian Thread Starter

    Cincinnati Ohio
    Haha Haha! Now THAT made me laugh!
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  20. seanw

    seanw Well-Known Member

    Coventry & Toronto
    "Leaving was never my proud." o_O

    I'd love to hear the demos for this record, stripping away all of the studio production. The songs aren't weak, the production on the other hand...
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  21. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Nashville, TN
    I will say they're all better on the subsequent live album, but that isn't saying much.
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  22. Digital-G

    Digital-G Forum Resident

    Dayton, OH
    I've always liked it. IMHO, it's better than a handful of their other albums. It does have one or two songs that make me reach for the skip button, but the rest I really enjoy.
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  23. DolphinsIntheJacuzzi

    DolphinsIntheJacuzzi Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    False. New Adventures In Hi-Fi is one of their greatest albums.
  24. Tom Campbell

    Tom Campbell Forum Resident

    Boston, MA
    I am among the few who like the album a lot (and like it much better than the two more ballyhooed follow-ups, Accelerate and Collapse Into Now, both of which for me start strong and peter out in their second halves).
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  25. brownsound2112

    brownsound2112 Forum Resident

    Hated the record on release. Don’t think I listened to it more than once, it was that bad. The show I saw on that tour was amazing though - London Hammersmith Apollo...
    harmonica98, bvb1123 and No Bull like this.

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