Maybe I should move more often, as I keep happening upon albums that while not forgotten, have been severely ignored by yours truly for years. The latest case being R.E.M.’s debut long-player Murmur. I have this on vinyl somewhere too, but it’s the CD that caught my attention and led me to ripping it on my computer.
One of the greatest albums of the past 20+ years, Murmur consistently draws me into it’s mysterious world of kudzu, folklore, pines and ghosts. While the band recorded many a great album with the IRS label in the ’80s, Murmur stands out above the rest as a whole entity unto itself. It’s a planet — the other albums merely gyrate in it’s presence.
All beautifully mumbled vocals and ringing Rickenbackers, the album unfolds itself a little at a time. Seventeen years after first hearing it I am even now discovering subtle nuances making it new all over again. If you somehow haven’t been exposed to the band’s early output I am terribly envious, as you have much to look forward to (start here). If you, like myself, are a longtime devotee, go dust this one off and give it a fresh spin. Two-headed cow.