Monster is indeed R.E.M.'s long-promised "rock" album; it just doesn't rock in the way one might expect. Instead of R.E.M.'s trademark anthemic bashers, Monster offers a set of murky sludge, powered by the heavily distorted and delayed guitar of Peter Buck. Michael Stipe's vocals have been pushed to the back of the mix, along with Bill Berry's drums, which accentuates the muscular pulse of Buck's chords. From the androgynous sleaze of "Crush With Eyeliner" to the subtle, Eastern-tinged menace of "You," most of the album sounds dense, dirty, and grimy, which makes the punchy guitars of "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" and the warped soul of "Tongue" all the more distinctive. Monster doesn't have the conceptual unity or consistently brilliant songwriting of Automatic for the People, but it does offer a wide range of sonic textures that have never been heard on an R.E.M. album before.
- Release Date:
- Concord Records
Performance CreditsR.E.M. Primary Artist
Technical CreditsRain Contributor
Lou Barlow Contributor
Peter Buck Composer,Contributor
Sally Dworsky Contributor
Scott Litt Producer
Patrick McCarthy Engineer
Mike Mills Composer,Contributor
Thurston Moore Contributor
Michael Stipe Composer,Contributor
Bill Berry Composer,Contributor
Pat McCarthy Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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It just doesn't sound like REM. Kenneth is the only good song on the disc, and it hasn't inspired me to put the disc in a CD player for at least 2 years
I'm a huge R.E.M. fan but I'd have to say this is a huge mess, and one of the most overrated albums of the 90's. R.E.M. are great at doing what they do best, but here the ideas they have just don't work like some of their other albums like Reckoning or Automatic for the People. The album after Monster, New Adventures in Hi-Fi, is a great album though.
This album is an example of R.E.M.'s beautiful artistic talent as musicians. From start to finish, this album has insane, yet not overpowering drive to it. If you like Stipe's film productions, you will love this album. It is one of American music's all time greats!