I’m Not Over You
November 15, 2007
What if R.E.M. decided to break up after the departure of Bill Berry, and they never made Up? What if Michael Stipe went off and started a solo career? You know, like a singer-songwriter thing where he just sings and strums an acoustic guitar? What would that be like? Well, “I’m Not Over You” is the answer, tucked away behind “Diminished” like a secret photo stashed between the pages of an old book. It’s short, slight, and simple, but it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Sure, Michael isn’t much of a guitar player, but his fragile, tentative playing makes him sound like he’s trying very hard not to mess it all up, and it nicely complements the theme of his lyrics. Stipe flips the relative weakness of this song into a major strength, and it fits perfectly as a brief lo-fi aside on the otherwise meticulously arranged Up. That said, it’s pretty clear that an entire album of this sort of thing would’ve been rather ill-advised.