Although not the chart monster the record company expected, this album nevertheless contained enough hit singles to satisfy. There was a self-consciously harder edge to the recording, although the trademark melodies and haunting hooks were present in small doses. ‘Crush With Eyeliner’ was the commercial highlight, and tracks such as ‘Star 69’ harked back to the punk feel of the early R.E.M. albums. The tremelo tone of Peter Buck’s guitar is constant throughout, irritating some, but also reflecting the band’s desire to move as far as possible from the mandolin-dominated ballads of their most recent work. Michael Stipe’s vocals were also mixed down, a perplexing move for what the band had planned as their all-out rock album.
Tracks: What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?; Crush With Eyeliner; King Of Comedy; I Don’t Sleep, I Dream; Star 69; Strange Currencies; Tongue; Bang And Blame; I Took Your Name; Let Me In; Circus Envy; You....