Recently I was in my car listening to Raw Power and cringed to note that Iggy Pop's music is now being used to promote cruise lines. Therefore, Accelerate might be an ironic title, or wishful thinking, although others crow that it is their most charged effort in years.
I haven’t listened to REM for some time (though I bear them no ill will), and perhaps I’m not enough of a fan to critique them fairly. To me, this band is positive aural wallpaper that inevitably appears in one room or another - sometimes it’s ironically flocked, sometimes it’s tinfoil retro. I preferred it when it was half torn off.
One party-house-wormhole-in-the-space-time-continuum host (the inevitable fedora-wearing chemical casualty with a symbolically random playing card tucked in the hat’s band) described “Stand” as “living instructions for stupid people.” REM? I remember Chronic Town. REM is one of the few arena shows I’ve seen (others include Culture Club and Prince).
Music inevitably becomes personal, a distinct sensory layer of anyone’s recollections. Some of my own associations: “Talk about the Passion” is the memorial song for a friend’s failed suicide attempt. She didn’t mean to take quite so many pills, really. She never woke up, but it took her years to die. Apparently when they came through town a few years later, Stipe sat down on the stage and refused to play “Radio Free Europe.” “Superman” was on the soundtrack for a real relationship, and “Swan Swan Hummingbird” was on the soundtrack for an imaginary one. “Losing My Religion” spoke to me at a bad time. Glad to hear that they’re still doing their thing. If you want to take a drive back to Rockville, go ahead and pick this up.