Can’t Get There From Here
May 23, 2007
When I sing along to this song, and I often do, I always do the Mike Mills half of the chorus. I don’t think I’ve ever once even tried to do the Michael Stipe part — it seems counter-intuitive, like I’d be swimming against a strong tide. Mills’ part sits comfortably in my range, flows nicely along with the forward momentum of its rhythm, and seems to demand group participation by design. As the song charges ahead, Stipe’s charming yokel character moves at his own pace, contradicts conventional wisdom, and stands in the place where he lives. We’re not supposed to relate to him; we’re the ones who got lost in the places in between our destinations.
Peter Buck’s parts on “Can’t Get There From Here” are inspired, and benefit greatly from a guitar tone that emphasizes the fact that’s he’s really just plucking strings made out of metal. The clicka-clicka sound on the verses remind me of the polished chrome of a vintage car, and the arpeggiated section leading up to the chorus always makes me think of power lines passing overhead on a country road.