Daily Song Study

R.E.M. – Fall On Me

In songs on September 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Yesterday, one of the most influential bands in my lifetime announced they were breaking up. I myself would argue that R.E.M.’s breakup happened 14 years ago when drummer Bill Berry left for health reasons. Their music hasn’t been the same since, although even prior to his departure it was getting a bit shaky.

Today’s tune is interesting, because it highlights so many of the things that the band stopped doing around the time of Berry’s exit: Alternating vocal lines, catchy melodies, sparkling guitar arrangements, and lyrics dealing with pressing issues. It showcases a compendium of hard-learned tricks that for some reason the group abandoned halfway through their career. Perplexing, but that’s a word often associated with this band.

RIP, R.E.M. Half a career of badassery is nothing to sneeze at.

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  1. […] Most music historians I’ve read tend to place the beginnings of geek-rock in the late 1970s with the rise of Talking Heads and Wall of Voodoo (one might argue that prog rock falls into that category, but it wasn’t geeky in its heyday of the late ’60s and early ’70s). The aforementioned They Might Be Giants upped the game in the 1980s, and during the ’90s the beast sprouted many heads including those of Ben Folds, Barenaked Ladies, Ween, and to an extent, R.E.M. […]

  2. […] spoken here before about controlled chaos, and at their best, R.E.M. were excellent at the […]

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