So REM announced that they are officially calling it a day after 30 years of pretentiousness. I must confess no real emotion about this news.
The closest that REM got to being a band that I actually dug was the Monster album that they released in the early 90's. That album had a much more rock-oriented production and some catchy tracks that harkened back to 70's glam rock. The thing that kept me away from buying into the band on that record is, what I consider to be, one of the worst guitar solos by a major band in music history. While I'm sure Peter Buck wanted to turn heads with an innovative take on a melodic solo by using a backward playback for the recording, it winds up sounding like a seasick brontosaurus with bad gas. Truly cringe-inducing.
REM has largely been out of the spotlight over the last few years so I'd actually kinda forgotten about them. The news of their breakup dredges up horrifying memories of the Shiny Happy People video & Michael Stipe's constant political activism. Blech. So, for all of the die-hard REM fans that are readers/listeners (that would be -3 of you), I offer some sympathy in the form of the video below. Hang in there folks.