My Favorite Underrated R.E.M. Songs

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Although R.E.M. split up in 2011, their legacy continues to live on with a 25th anniversary re-release of the bands iconic 1994 album Monster. The former band announced on September 4th, their plan to re-release Monster along with a new re-mix version of the album, which is exciting news for R.E.M. Michael Stipe is one of my favorite song writers. In honor of the new release I’m going to share my favorite R.E.M. songs that not enough people know about.

Strange Currencies

Strange Currencies is the sixth song of R.E.M.’s Monster, one of the songs that will be included on the re-release. Strange currencies is a hauntly beautiful song, some have interpreted about unrequited love and others as bagging for a second chance. The song’s title comes from the lyrics “ you know with love comes strange currencies”, which is my favorite lyric in the song. I love this song because I think it is a song that everyone can relate to in some way, and in my opinion that is what makes the best songs.

Leaving New York

Leaving New York was the first single off of R.E.M.’s 2004 album Around the Sun.By this time R.E.M. was not as relevant in the popular music scene and did not gain as much attention as they had previously in their career. Leaving New York is one of R.E.M.’s slower songs. The   song has been interpreted in many ways. At first glance the song seems to be about someone coming to terms with the fact that they need to leave a relationship and get a fresh start      somewhere else. However, lyricist Michael Stipe has also commented on how it was a tribute to    his favorite city and how he watched it change after the September 11th attacks. Anyway you  want to see it, Leaving New York is a sad but beautifully written song.

Find the River

Find the River is the Final track on R.E.M.’s Automatic for the People, and another slow song. Find the river is about reflecting on life and following your own path. The song is sung from the perspective of an older person speaking to a young person. The old person explains how life is   short and reflects on their own lifetime and what they could have done differently. Encourage    the young person to take their own path and enjoy life before it passes them by. I love this    song because although sad, it has a great  message to share with younger generations.


Daysleeper is the eleventh song off of R.E.M.’s Up. This song is the perfect example of why my favorite song writer. The song is simply about a person who works a night shift, and how they perceive the world from being awake at night. I love how Stipe was able to take something simple, a night shift, and really dig into and complexify it.

At my Most Beautiful At my most beautiful is the fifth song off of Up. The song is a love song with a simple message, I the narrator is at their most beautiful when their with the one they love. The narrator recalls the little thing his partner does that makes him love them. It’s a simple, yet beautifully done love song.

Don’t Throw Away Your CD’s and LP’s

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We live in the age of digital music. It is crazy to think how far music has come is such a short time. Today with music subscription services, like Spotify, we can instantly have access to millions of songs on a small device we can fit in our pocket. We can quickly add background music to our life or hook up to a speaker to share. We can create a playlist of our favorite songs, so we don’t have to worry about skipping the ones we don’t like. I and so many other listeners love it for these reasons. However, there is one drawback to digital music many people do not realize because we have become so accustomed to listening to MP3 recordings. Many people do not know that MP3 technology actually compresses the music file to create more space on a device. MP3 recordings have a lower sound quality than earlier formats of recorded music. Digital music is great, but don’t be afraid to throw it back to enhance your listening experience.

Over the last ten years vinyl records have been making a comeback, which is really exciting for music listeners. Many people don’t know that vinyl records have the best sound quality, because the music has not been compressed to fit a smaller format. I love listening to vinyl because it sounds like the band is in the room with you. A record player and vinyl records can be pricey these days, but I’d definitely recommend buying your favorite albums on vinyl to experience them in a new way if you can. Unfortunately, the record store is almost extinct but there are still places to but records. Most Barnes and Nobles locations have a vinyl shop with a large selection of albums. You can but them online, but that can be risky because they can be warped in the shipping process. Thrift Stores and Flea Markets are also great places to look for records and a great way to save money. Vinyl is a great way for an avid music listener to experience music in their home.

As much as I love vinyl, the one big drawback to vinyl is the fact that it’s not portable. As someone who enjoys listening to albums all the way through, if I could play records in my car I would. This is why I love CDs. CDs have a clearer sound quality than MP3 recordings and still can easily be listened to on the go if you have a working CD player in your car. Just like records, I definitely recommend having a couple of your favorite albums on CD to mix up what you listen to in the car. CD’s are not collectible like vinyl, making them really easy to get for a low price. 

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.