Friday, June 1, 2012

R.E.M. - Fables of the Reconstruction

This album was maddening to me when I bought it. I thought surely the title of the album was Reconstruction of the Fables because that's what it says on the spine. Unfortunately the cover art says Fables of the Reconstruction and by opening the liner notes you'll see Reconstruction of the Fables again. I got that the band was being clever, but I bought this when I was 14 and I wasn't prepared to be messed with like that. Oh, and our text-only internet (back in the BBS days) was no help in settling the matter. It would be a few years before I got a definitive answer.

Anyway, Fables of the Reconstruction is a dark, spiky, and jittery folk rock affair. It's as different from Reckoning as Reckoning was from Murmur. I honestly didn't like it when I got it, because I thought R.E.M. was all about "Stand" and "Shiny Happy People." Although Fables of the Reconstruction is not quite the classic R.E.M. sound, it's still a very good and very interesting album. It shows that R.E.M. is not a one-trick-pony and that they can get a little weird and cryptic if they want to.

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