#45 REM – Automatic For The People
Before: Likeable singles, before they went bland
Chamberpop Americana, with any indie creases of old ironed out. The album is very much a CD album, polished to within an inch of its digital life, the crystalline production making the sound see-through and brittle. Much like the lead vocals although they have some heart. Perfect playing and a sense of middle of the road blandness, the contrived oddity of some of the lyrics not helping much. But there is splendid atmosphere in places, and beauty and humour, and a breakfast mess. Often sounding ploddy and a little insipid. Yes, I believe they put a man on the moon, no I don’t believe there’s nothing up his sleeve. I’m not sure where this leaves me.
After: They were already quite bland. A kind of bland perfection.
Counting down the Top 50 over at Best Ever Albums. They’ve taken 6,600 greatest album charts and compiled them into an overall chart.