Album of the Day
THIS IS THE NODE AOD FULL TEMPLATE
When the members of R.E.M. were planning their follow-up to AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE, drummer Bill Berry was adamant that the album should rock, and he got his wish in MONSTER. The 1994 Warner Bros. collection teems with grungy guitars, energy and experimentation, with lean and forceful arrangements well suited for the quartet's first tour in nearly six years. Michael Stipe's vocals are deliberately set back in the mix but break through the distortion often enough to reveal an ambivalence toward celebrity as a lyrical theme - “What's the Frequency, Kenneth?” was inspired by an attack on newscaster Dan Rather and “Let Me In” reflects on the death of Kurt Cobain. If the sound was aggressive, it was still accessible, with hit singles “Crush With Eyeliner,” “Strange Currencies” and “Bang And Blame” among the dozen tracks. MONSTER reached No.1 on the album chart, and we'll give it another spin today in honor of Berry's birthday.