Saturday, December 27, 2008
I admit that I came along a little too late to appreciate R.E.M. at its peak. By the time I entered my early teens, they were well into their grandiosely orchestrated, bombastically overproduced phase that gave rise to songs like "Everybody Hurts" and "Losing My Religion". The early IRS albums are about all I can listen to these days without earplugs. For what it's worth, let the record stand that R.E.M. were, at the beginning, a good little college rock band with tightly crafted, homegrown songcraft and a freshness that set them far apart from the commercialized crapola that passed for music during the 1980's.
"Gardening at Night" is probably my favorite of all their early singles. I can stand R.E.M. in minimal doses even at their best, since they get a little monotonous with repeated listens and their glaring technical limitations become ever more clear with repeated listens. Still, this is a great track.