R.E.M.'s "Driver 8"
In an earlier post I mentioned that R.E.M. had been one of my favorite bands throughout high school and college. I, of course, knew all their standard radio play songs (Losing My Religion, End Of The World, etc.), but it was the "Automatic For The People" album that really cemented my interest in them. The lyrics and orchestration on that album made it one of my favorites, and it opened up the entire world of R.E.M. to me. I began to work my way backwards through their catalog, and with each album I found new songs and sounds to connect with. I think that my affinity for "alternative, college pop rock" can be directly attributed to the amount of R.E.M. that I listened to in high school.
For sentimental reasons, "Automatic" has always been my favorite R.E.M. album, but I think my favorite individual songs mostly come from their earlier albums. Don't get me wrong, there are a slew of later songs that I love, but there was just something so new about a lot of the old IRS stuff. Even now, after 2 decades of bands have copied and bastardized their sound, there is something fresh about tracks like "Driver 8". The poetry, the guitar lycs, the constant running bass line. It is a brilliantly crafted and infinitely listenable song.
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