Archive for United States

Losing My Religion – R.E.M.

  • First Appearance: March 16, 1991
  • Weeks on the Chart: 8
  • Album: Out of Time
  • Have I heard this song before (pre-listen)? Yes.
  • Have I actually heard this song before? Yes.

If you haven’t listened to it lately, Losing My Religion is still a very good song.

I don’t know that I’d ever listened to the entirety of Out of Time, R.E.M.’s 7th full length studio album, before. It’s a solid, if not stand-out or particularly stellar album. The songs are good, but few are as catchy or impactful as Losing My Religion or Shiny Happy People.

This is going to be another short one, it seems. This happens when the music doesn’t provoke a lot of emotion from me. A lot of these songs kind of just “are.”

I do want to shout out “Belong” as a particularly neat song. Spoken word with jangly guitars and a chanted chorus of “Ohs” is unusual and cool. It reminds me a bit of “Butterflies” by Toad The Wet Sprocket (from fear released in August 1991).

Merry Go Round – The Replacements

  • First Appearance: October 13, 1990
  • Weeks on the Chart: 4 (non-consecutive)
  • Album: All Shook Down
  • Have I heard this song before (pre-listen)? No.
  • Have I actually heard this song before? No.

This was the last studio album from The Replacements, and this was their last single. I expected to have heard it before, but I also assume there’s a reason it was their last single off of their last album. It was clearly The Replacements: fun, relentless, pop, but it wasn’t the magic of some of their other singles that have persisted.

Unsurprisingly this album seems a little more mature and thoughtful than some of the Replacements’ work that you may be more familiar with. And if you’re wondering how I can write much more about The Replacements’ last album than one of The Cure’s most popular it’s because I’m enjoying this a lot more. Other reasons include: much more ink has been spilled about The Cure’s Ritual de lo Habitual than All Shook Down; and, I can’t imagine anyone has ever listened to The Cure and thought, “I want to start a band just like this one,” meanwhile The Replacements have likely influenced a lot more work.

The title track, All Shook Down, is a really sweet and quiet song, with what sounds like a recorder in the background. Meanwhile, Torture is a sweet little foot tapping love song, despite what the title would imply.

This is definitely a strong reminder to re-listen to their catalogue. Such a delight.

Stop! – Jane’s Addiction

  • First Appearance: September 1, 1990
  • Weeks on the Chart: 2 (non-consecutive)
  • Album: Ritual de lo Habitual
  • Have I heard this song before (pre-listen)? No.
  • Have I actually heard this song before? No.

While “Stop!” spent just two non-consecutive weeks at the top of the chart, “Been Caught Stealing” (yes, and yes) spent an addition four weeks (also non-consecutive) at the top of the chart starting in late October through mid-December.

For an album as iconic as this one, I’m shocked that I didn’t recognize “Stop!” The flip side of that being, after hearing it, I’m not surprised that “Been Caught Stealing” was the enduring single off of this album.

These are some of the hardest albums to say anything about. It’s Jane’s Addiction. What am I going to say about it. It’s raucous scream singing with driving beats and occasionally weird funk bass influences.

Joey – Concrete Blonde

  • First Appearance: July 14, 1990
  • Weeks on the Chart: 5
  • Album: Bloodletting
  • Have I heard this song before (pre-listen)? No.
  • Have I actually heard this song before? No.

This album comes on strong with heavy guitars and gothic themes in a way I didn’t really expect. The third track, Caroline, takes a turn more toward traditional 90s alternative, leaning on more Stevie Nicks vibes, and a little ‘Til Tuesday. The album even detours into a little country twang with Lullabye [sic].

Concrete Blonde has the honor of being the band from the US to be featured on the blog.

The relevant track, Joey is firmly in the final third of the album. It’s almost an 80s power ballad. My overall impression of this album is “Okay, sure.” It doesn’t feel that cohesive, it doesn’t really evoke much emotion in me past the first couple of tracks.