June 27, 2007
It doesn’t even matter what you think Michael Stipe and Mike Mills are singing on “Pretty Persuasion” so long as you catch the title phrase. The composition jerks back and forth between gorgeous, sunny cascading harmonies and moody tangents, basically seducing the listener with its beauty before revealing something a bit more dark and sinister. Y’know, just like the people in the lyrics. Michael has fun with his pronouns in this number, intentionally obscuring the gender and sexuality of the song’s subject to the point that I wonder if it was always intended to evoke a sense of deep confusion with regards to sexual orientation.