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Automatic for the People


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Customer Reviews

One of those albums...

You know the ones which you hear about, you know they're supposed to be great, you listen and like a couple, but can't see why people rave about it. Then, perhaps years later as in my case, you listen again right through and start to lean in...slowly it absorbs and you realise. How come it didn't register that this record is, in fact, magnificent? There's real craft in the songs, it's so well-paced and well-balanced, and lyrically engaging. A true 'band' album I'd say, its parts and chosen instruments meld together brilliantly and are frequently transcendent like on "Sweetness Follows" and "Nightswimming". Many are incredibly atmospheric - listen to "Drive" one night, and your mind may well drift to being in your car on a deserted highway out in the sticks, with encroaching fog smothering your headlights. It's as soothing, and as haunting, as silence itself.

From my frame of reference, this album is rightfully recognised as a classic. At first listen you may not find it so, but somewhere down the line, this album will find you, you'll listen and you'll know so.


Formed: 1980 in Athens, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

R.E.M. marked the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock. When their first single, "Radio Free Europe," was released in 1981, it sparked a back-to-the-garage movement in the American underground. While there were a number of hardcore and punk bands in the U.S. during the early '80s, R.E.M. brought guitar pop back into the underground lexicon. Combining ringing guitar hooks with mumbled, cryptic lyrics and a D.I.Y. aesthetic borrowed from post-punk, the band simultaneously sounded traditional...
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