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November 30, 1988 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-30

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Page 8 --The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 30, 1988

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X000p p p
buries jangly image

'0000000

R.E.M.
R.E.M.
Green
Warner Bros.
I don't suppose there could be any
more privileged assignment for a pop
music journalist at a university
newspaper; after all, it was the force
of critical acclaim and college-heroes
sales that started R.E.M. off on their
unlikely climb to chart stardom: But
after throwing the band's name around
for so many years as a ready-made
touchstone in reviewing innumerable
legions of eye-blinking purveyors of
the "jangly southern pop" that
R.E.M. has since outgrown, the critic
is left with the problem of what
exactly R.E.M. is - and who
remains to compare R.E.M. to, for
Michael Stipe and Co. and now nearly
in a league of legends with Led
Zeppelin and U2....
Actually, beyond the obvious
similarites - all these quartets are
characterized by the creative axis
between a semi-visionary vocalist and
an innovative guitar hero - the three
have all managed to beguile critics
and fans by steadfastly defying
expectations. Green seems at first to
be a really sparse and weird album,
an amalgam of mandolin fancy and
stomping party rockers. But given
time to grow on you, this new-label

with

Gr

ee

n

out with profound authority - then
the canonic misfire that was 1986's
Document showed a band caught at a
familiar artistic impasse. Having fired
its best shot, the next step could only
be almost heavy-metal, but a return to
past styles was unthinkable. Much
like U2's The Unforgettable Fire,
Document ventured into a con-
fusingly eclectic atmosphere -
heading off in different directions at
once while the band went nowhere.
Green, then, is essential insofar as
the band has broken the holding
pattern by redefining its sound with
stark imagination and the sort of
bravado that invokes higher gods at
will. Peter Buck's mandolins ring out
throughout "You Are the Everything"
with a quiet intensity, like echoes of a
"Battle of Evermore" in the sky, and
the rich strums of "Hairshirt" recall
strains of "Going to California."
Indeed, Green contains a song called
"I Remember California"- which,
thankfully, sounds nothing like Led
Zeppelin.
As any great artist may, R.E.M.
take the initiative in reinterpreting
even their own catalog: although not
going so far as be-bopping the band's
own previous lyrics a la Sting, "Turn
You Inside-Out" is an obvious
deconstruction of "The Finest Work-

song," the reverse of what "Ach
Last Stand" was to "The S
Remains the Same," surging
concentrated fury like a thin
man's "Rock and Roll." The
single, "Orange Crush" continue
linear dynamic introduced by "B
the Begin" and carries through
Simple Minds-like rhythms
angular guitar figures of "Works
in a way that banishes the jangly
R.E.M. image forever.
Forget the old mumbly sing
too. Stipe has printed his lyric
the first time here - on "W
Leader Pretend" - and he hasn
them clear enough to prevent an
from taking "Orange Crush" as a
on soda-pop: "we are agents o
free," sings bassist Mike Mills
drill-corps shouts cadences in 1
The man who told us "It's the E
the World" knows the hour's ge
late - theres no time left for b
sentiments or false words, nof
for faint hearts. "Get Up" and "S
are rousing pep-talks; the mu
simplicity and clarity with w
Stipe conjures complex vision
well as these simple invocatio
hope proves that R.E.M. are coni
enough to finally earn your com
trust - to take them as whateve
-Pwant to be.
-Michael Paul F

illes
ong
with
king
new
s the
legin
h the
and
ong"
y old
ging,
s for
Vorld
dnn A

---Dec. 13 and 14:
Actors, costumer, and stage
crew needed for the production of
The Phantom Tollbooth, directed
by David Freiman. Showdates:
first three weekends in March. For
further information, call 663-
0763.
Auditions and Opportunities
runs every Wednesday. If you have
information regarding auditions or
other theater/performance oppor-
tunities, contact Cherie Curry at
763-0379.

debut reveals the deceptive genius that If 1986's Life's Rich Pageant was
a top-flight band can summon when R.E.M.'s Physical Graffiti asWar
forced to reconcile great expectations was U2's - an album where the1
with a refusal to repeat itself group honed away its oblique edges
musically. down to the bare essentials and rocked{

mane
yone o
song X I
f the
as a
back. r
nd of r r
etting
durry
place
tand"
Jsical
vhich q 4
ns as
ns ofr
fident
iplete
r they
SerS
IT
AROUND
Share the
news,
Saitl
FREE TUTORING
in all 100-200 level
Math & Science courses
UGLi rm 307
Mon-Thur 7-11 pm
Bursley rm 2333 (by main
office)
Mon & Thur 8-10 pm
Markley's Library
Mon & Wed 7-9 pm
S. Quad Dining Hall
- Mon & Thur 8-10 pm
Sponsored by LSA St. Gov't,
UMEC, and MSA
a:
=__

0

AIM
U Liffil SDI Jile

BAKAIN MATINEE 0.UU UNTIlL 0 I'M AILY
SUNDAY & HOLIDAYS FIRST SHOW ONLY
CONT. OWS DAILY/LATE SHOWS TONIGHT
Io!OCOON THE RETURN LFE
tP 12:35, 2:50, 5:05, 7:35, 9:50,12:05
BUSTER
1:20, 3:20, 5:10,.7:25, 9:25, 11:35
THE LAND BEFORE TIME
12:30, 2:05, 3:40, 5:15, 7:00,9-35, 10:10, 11:40Wy j
Walt Disney's OLIVER & COMPANY1
2:15,1:50,3:25,5:00,7:00,8:30, 10:00, 11352l
r _ FRESH HORSES
12:40, 2:40, 4:40, 7:20, 9:30, 11:40®:Ie1I
HIGH SPIRITS
12:45, 2:50, 4:50, 7:25, 9:25, 11:30 fP8fhI]
LAST RITES-
3:10,5:15,9:55,12:15
AS RITESA
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ERNEST SAVES CHRISTMAS
1:00, 3:15, 5:20, 7:15, 9:20, 11:20 III

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