Out of Time
Out of Time demonstrates a maturing of R.E.M.'s music. This is the most
polished of R.E.M.'s CDs. Of course, in true R.E.M. fashion it starts out
blasting the foundations of the music world. Boogie-Down Productions' KRS-1
raps "Now our children grow up prisoners / all their life, radio listeners."
The CD is also filled with other guest appearances, including the B-52's Kate
Pierson, a string section, saxaphonist, and a flugelhornist. If you're
looking for upbeat political songs, check out R.E.M.'s earlier works. If you
want a more mellow, personal recording, Out of Time is for you. On "Low",
drummer Bill Berry takes a break from the standard trap-set fare to voyage
over to the congas, and a special mellowness to the song. Lead singer also
takes takes a rest on the CD's two quasi-instrumentals, "Endgame" and "Belong".
Perhaps one of the best songs on the CD, "Belong", has 'lyrics' consisting entirely of
a muted poem.
Most of the songs on "Out of Time" come in similarly sounding
pairs. "Near Wild Heaven" and "Shiny Happy People" both voyage near the line
of standard pop-fair, while still keeping a respectable distance. Both are
upbeat, bright, "happy", and multi-vocalar. "Low" is very dark, and basically
self descriptive. "Shiny Happy People" is an exceptionally worked song,
except for the sudden, artificial drop to waltz time. "Radio Song" is an
upbeat song, blasting the radio. "Losing My Religion", their lead off
single, is Michael Stipe's personal song of inadequacy. "Endgame" is a relaxing
instrumental. "Texarkana" (how'd they get that name?) is a upbeat song, with an
annoying lead-in bass lick. "Country Feedback" sounds like its title. In "Me
in Honey", R.E.M. goes back down to the basic, using just the four group
members, and guest vocalist Kate Pierson.
Rating: 10 out of 10 - a classic