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Free read REM's Murmur

Interview that took place some twenty years ago Michael Stipe made passing reference to an essay that had a deep impact on him It s what came to his mind when after having been harangued by fans and journalists alike about Murmur s lyrics already grown weary from having to continually entertain their broad speculations he finally threw up his hands Anyone who really wants to figure out the words to our songs shou A lovely and well paced look at a little gold nugget of an album from a fan who discovered it on tape in a time of Howard Jones and Thompson Twins neon spiky haired 80 s pop Of course Murmur sounded nothing like those guys and contained absolute canyons of depth and emotion but obscured by many things including reverb wilfully odd Michael Stipe and his lyrics with no obvious nouns or verbs or protagonists or plots just hints which seem to click into your memoryYou can tell I have a soft spot for this record and this book and it s a hard act to follow in the 33 13 series In fact it was followed for me by the Stone Roses book and that was a completely different beastJustin Niimi is a

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REM's Murmur

REM s debut album released in 1983 was so far removed from the prevailing trends of American popular music that it still sounds miraculous and out of time today J Niimi tells the story of the album s genesis with fascinating input from Don Dixon and Mitch Easter He also investigates Michael Stipe s hypnotic mysterious lyrics and makes the case for Murmur as a work of Southern Gothic art EXCEPRT In the course of an I love the 33 13 book series but because the authors have the freedom to analyze an album in any way they choose the books are of widely varying uality In this edition the author is kind enough to signpost his approach a brief history of the band leading up to this their first full length effort historical and artistic context and analysis of languageThe first two sections are great having read at least one full biography of REM I was afraid I would have to sit through a rehash of that information but the author acknowledges that this book didn t need all that So the telling of the formation of the band and their writing touring and recording experiences pre Murmur are limited to

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Ld probably read this essay then go back and listen Stipe told the interviewer It talks about how people misinterpret something that s being said and come up with a little phrase or word that actually defines the essence of what the original was better than the original did What Stipe was trying to say is that if you want answers to REM you re not only looking in the wrong place you re also asking the wrong uestio Murmur is not the best REM album nor is it my favorite REM album but because it was first Murmur may be the most REM y REM album The mysterious album cover the jangly guitar arpeggios the cryptic almost indecipherable lyrics the enigmatic image of the band themselves they re all here right from the beginningJ Niimi divides his book into four uneual parts The first is pretty straightforward biography with a heavy duty nod towards audiophile geeks Most fans will already know about Stipe and Buck s initial meeting at a record store most probably won t care about the digital delays of a Lexicon Model 200 the Lamborghini of digital reverbs or the different kinds of compressors


10 thoughts on “REM's Murmur

  1. says:

    Even my friend Gig a man who knows about music than several other men has forgotten how great REM were on Chronic Town Murmur Reckoning Fables of the Reconstruction and Life's Rich Pageant It's like trying to tell someone about the ripsnorting rock and roll on the Rolling Stones' first two albums you're going to get funny

  2. says:

    This wasn't as bad as the author warned it would be at the beginning I was concerned about this book when I started reading it and the author w

  3. says:

    I love the 33 13 book series but because the authors have the freedom to analyze an album in any way they choose the books are of widely varyi

  4. says:

    Thoughts as I read 1 It takes some serious chutzpah to think you can make out Michael Stipe's lyrics especially the early ones on your own 1b And then to analyze them Based on what you think they are Dang Chutzpah2 I always hate when someone of authority like an author and not just some guy on the street analyzes a record and calls

  5. says:

    A lovely and well paced look at a little gold nugget of an album from a fan who discovered it on tape in a time of Howard Jones and Thompson Twins neon spiky haired 80's pop Of course Murmur sounded nothing like those guys and contained absolute canyons of depth and emotion but obscured by many things including r

  6. says:

    four shaggy college dropouts from Georgia load up a blue two seat van drive up the coast to South Carolina touring dive bars abandoned churches on their way to cut an album of music that didn't suck and end up giving birth to alternative rockRemember Every Moment you will be missed

  7. says:

    Murmur is not the best REM album nor is it my favorite REM album but because it was first Murmur may be the most REM y REM album The mysterious album cover the jangly guitar arpeggios the cryptic almost indecipherable lyrics the enigmatic image of the band themselves they’re all here right from the beginningJ Niimi divides his book into four uneual parts The first is pretty straightforward biography with a heavy duty nod towa

  8. says:

    It was hard to choke this one down but maybe it would've helped if I were at all an REM fan The first half of th

  9. says:

    Without uestion the worst book on REM that I have ever read Error riddled the author tries to decipher lyrics that are misjudged in the first placed puts down songs that to mine are classics this isn't a book so much as a te

  10. says:

    Great balance of personal narrative historical placement evoking the songs and insider sourcesinterviews Following up with the producers is a great way to look at a debut album because you get a sense of the bands identity forming alongside the record Easily one of the best 333 books I’ve read and I wasn’t a huge fan of the record before reading this