It’s time for a personal post, feels overdue. Here we go :)
In this album(Green), a band (REM) expresses a massive depth of emotions which I speculate are often buried under louder sounds in both life and art. So many contemporary artists, if they even take the plunge of exploring the introspective with their audience, do so with only the most extreme or shocking versions of themselves, or layer it with sarcasm, cynicism, or cheeky cleverness. I love all that stuff. It can be authentic in my opinion, in as much as it is on a case by case.
In the album “Green”, by REM, the band finds and maintains a stance of bravery among multiple uncomfortable and scary emotions. For perspective, it may be comfortable to feel rage or depression, and PLEASE, know I am speaking of my personal experiences and not having any part of moralizing legitimate psychological conditions. It just doesn’t feel as comfortable to me to feel genuine anger or genuine sadness, which for me are much more powerful emotions than their supposed extreme cousins. The range of the album goes wide, anger and sadness are easy to focus on, but their is so much nostalgia, hope, love, and fear, the least liked of the bunch. This album tells me a story of things I don’t want to hear, but desperately need to in order to be ok.
I’ve always hated this album, and now I know why. Lately, I can’t stop listening to it. It is a candid and open challenge not to subvert a feeling into a change of subject. The words can seem silly, until I ask myself, “Do I know what he’s talking about?” and have to answer, “yes”. It’s not comfortable listening to his bare and awkward vocals, and the music isn’t distracting enough, in fact, it points out his sentiments perfectly. More relevant than the technical quality of his voice are the ways he incorporates the guttural, the poignant, and the sublime, without an ounce of mockery, smugness, or cynicism.
I hate this band, and I hate this album so much, I won’t mix it with any other playlists. It stands alone. I listen to it in order and often from beginning to end. It seems dangerous to stop in the middle.