May 9, 2007
Peter Buck has made no secret of loathing this song, and it’s easy to understand why. “Wendell Gee” is corny and saccharine to such a degree that it’s actually somewhat surprising that it’s actually an R.E.M. original — the sappy tone is so far off from the prevailing mood of Fables of the Reconstruction that it comes off like an unusually earnest cover rather than a pastiche of a sentimental country ballad. It’s more difficult to grasp why the band felt it was necessary to tack the song on to the end of the album when “Good Advices” would have been a perfectly fine conclusion, but it’s pretty and tuneful enough to get a pass even if it is the weakest track on the record by a considerable distance.