• It's the end of the world as we know....not quite Mr Stipe

    This week, I was pretty shocked to hear that one of my favourite bands REM have split after 31 years. Now, lets put this plainly, I know their music went a bit too mainstream after the big Warner Bro's signing, and that Automatic for the people, they didn't really have that grit that brought them the music edge that what had ironically brought them recognition.

    The thing that always struck me about an REM song was that Stipe brought to the forefront lyrics reflective of life, and in my opinion, lied about where most of the stories came from.

    For example "Shiny Happy People" which the band have unanimously hated since its release is probably one of their favourite songs. "Everybody Hurts" written mainly by drummer Bill Berry, was apparently about young teens going through difficult periods in their lives. I personally would like to think that one of the band members probably got mugged and wanted to lyricise the pain. And "Its the end of the world as we know it" was probably about an acid trip that went wrong and not playing on the whole Orson Welles dilemma of the 50's.

    Joking aside, REM remain one of the best lyrical groups of the 80/90s. As a college frat band they resonated with a youth audience very easily and until their last studio album earlier this year, continued to. They may have grown, they're music certainly sharper and execution unquestionable, but they remained superfluous to a lot of studio pressure to make "more catchy" and "commercially viable" songs.

    So Mr Stipe, Mills, Buck and Berry (never ever forget the drummer), I salute you. You inspired the likes of Pearl Jam and Nirvana, you were a gateway for many more bands that have graced our radio and youtube streams and for that I salute you!

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