Archive for 1991 – Page 2

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).

Right Here, Right Now – Jesus Jones

  • First Appearance: February 9, 1991
  • Weeks on the Chart: 5
  • Album: Doubt
  • Have I heard this song before (pre-listen)? Yes.
  • Have I actually heard this song before? Yes.

Jesus Jones is an English band. I did not know this.

Their first track on Doubt is almost punk or thrash. It’s very loud and very fast, and really does not match the rest of the album in any meaningful way.

The next few tracks, leading up to Right Here Right Now better set the tone for what was one of the most ubiquitous songs of 1991. Some twenty-seven years later and that track is still catchy, and the band very much deserved all the money they made from licensing it every chance they got. I’m, in fact, a little surprised that it’s not still used as a “this song is to establish that this movie or TV scene is happening in the early 90s”-song.

After that the album gets a little weird: loud and distorted. It never really feels like a cohesive album, and it’s not a shock that I couldn’t have named another song off of this album if my life depended on it.

All This Time – Sting

  • First Appearance: January 26, 1991
  • Weeks on the Chart: 2
  • Album: The Soul Cages
  • Have I heard this song before (pre-listen)? No.
  • Have I actually heard this song before? No.

Sting exists outside of spacetime. If you’d told me this was a Sting album from ’87, right after the Police broke up, I’d believe you. If you told me that Sting released this album last year, I would believe you. If you’d told me that Sting brought a synth back to 1823 and recorded this album on that modern synth, and period instruments, I would also believe you.

All of which is a long way of saying that this album does not feel 90s. It feels Sting. It’s competent and good, but being Sting it does not evoke particularly strong feelings or insights.

Kinky Afro – Happy Mondays

  • First Appearance: January 19, 1991
  • Weeks on the Chart: 1
  • Album: Pill ‘N’ Thrills and Bellyaches
  • Have I heard this song before (pre-listen)? No.
  • Have I actually heard this song before? No.

First and foremost, the name of the album is stylized in a way that makes my head hurt. Everywhere I could find it, it was Pills ‘N’ [sic] Thrills and Bellyaches. Why it had a capital ‘n’ inside the single quotes, and used both an ‘N’ and “and” are totally beyond me. But then, I suppose there’s no use in being a grammar pedant when talking about music. Especially when one of my favorite bands is Wilco who’s lyrics often make no good grammatical or semantic sense.

The relevant track, Kinky Afro was just a little weird, to be honest. Kind of forgettable, and not interesting in any real way. The rest of the album was interesting. The album still kind of reeks of the 80s with more synths and drum kits than I’d like, but it feels like it’s on the edge of something new. There are hints of later U2 here, and some foreshadowing of the alt rock we’ll see really emerge in the next few years.

The rest of the album is kind of cool. It really spans genres ranging from dancy, to funky, to just alternative/indie.