The goal of this blog is very simple: I am going to write a post about every song on every R.E.M. album, plus most of their major non-album tracks. I have no idea how long this will take, especially since I will be following an irregular schedule. Some weeks I might have ten posts, some weeks it might be one, or zero. We’ll see how it goes — this is basically a side project, so it won’t have the same priority as Fluxblog, or my paying assignments. One way or another, I intend to get to all of them — my favorites, the ones I never think about, and the ones I don’t like very much. Some posts will be very brief, others might be kinda long. I’ll probably play around with the style and approach over time. I’ll be covering the songs in an arbitrary order based on whim and inspiration at any given moment.
You might be wondering — why R.E.M.? Well, for one thing, I have a very long history as an R.E.M. fan, and I’ve known a majority of their catalog for about fifteen years. In that time, their songs have become tied to countless memories from my adolescence on through my late 20s, and in doing this project, I get to examine the way some songs get stuck in one particular meaning that is tied up in my own biography, and others find a new relevance in my life as I grow older. That’s the personal side of this project, anyway.
The other major goal is to explore R.E.M.’s discography in depth with a focus on individual compositions rather than albums in order to break out of the familiar narrative that dogs most discussion of their work, and get into the real reason why I think they are one of the best bands in pop history — they’ve just written a staggering number of incredible songs, and I want to examine each one on their own merits.