REM: Fables of the Reconstruction (1985)

REM
FABLES OF THE RECONSTRUCTION
IRS
MY RATING: 49/100
FABLES OF THE RECONSTRUCTION is the album where REM almost lost their way. After the early triumphs of CHRONIC TOWN and MURMUR, the band made some slight adjustments to their formula and delivered RECKONING, a good album with some great songs in its own right, but for the most part a re-tread of familiar territory. So while it’s no wonder that the band went way out on a limb here, it’s also pretty amazing that they end up surviving their own resplendent failure. The album opens in extremely unorthodox fashion with “Feeling Gravity’s Pull.” It’s sort of ugly, to be frank, but the band manages to pull it together and eek out a decent track. Elsewhere, “Driver 8” and “Life and How to Live It” are winners, and “Can’t Get There From Here” is worth a mention as well. Other than that, there’s not much. The band sounds bored on the latter half especially, and the ornate melodies and instrumental interplay of their early work are simply absent. Thankfully, the band would later their way ahead on LIFE’S RICH PAGEANT and knock it out of the park on DOCUMENT. I’d recommend skipping the album and downloading the tracks mentioned above.
TRACKS
1. Feeling Gravity’s Pull (4/5)
2. Maps and Legends (3.5/5)
3. Driver 8 (5/5)
4. Life and How to Live It (5/5)
5. Old Man Kensey (3.5/5)
6. Can’t Get There From Here (4/5)
7. Green Grow the Rushes (3/5) – 7 Chinese Bros.?
8. Kohoutek (3/5)
9. Auctioneer (Another Engine) (2.5/5)
10. Good Advices (2.5/5)
11. Wendell Gee (3.5/5)FABLES OF THEREM RECONSTRUCTION

FablesREMREM
Fables of the Reconstruction; 1985
IRS Records

My Rating: 49/100

FABLES OF THE RECONSTRUCTION is the album where REM almost lost their way. After the early triumphs of CHRONIC TOWN and MURMUR, the band made some slight adjustments to their formula and delivered RECKONING, a good album with some great songs in its own right, but for the most part a re-tread of familiar territory. So while it’s no wonder that the band went way out on a limb here, it’s also pretty amazing that they ended up surviving their own resplendent failure. The album opens in extremely unorthodox fashion with “Feeling Gravity’s Pull.” It’s sort of ugly, to be frank, but the band manages to pull it together and eek out a decent track. Elsewhere, “Driver 8” and “Life and How to Live It” are winners, and “Can’t Get There From Here” is worth a mention as well. Other than that, there’s not much. The band sounds bored on the latter half especially, and the ornate melodies and instrumental interplay of their early work are simply absent. Thankfully, the band would later their way ahead on LIFE’S RICH PAGEANT and knock it out of the park on DOCUMENT. I’d recommend skipping the album and downloading the tracks mentioned above.

TRACKS

1. Feeling Gravity’s Pull (4/5)
2. Maps and Legends (3.5/5)
3. Driver 8 (5/5)
4. Life and How to Live It (5/5)
5. Old Man Kensey (3.5/5)
6. Can’t Get There From Here (4/5)
7. Green Grow the Rushes (3/5)
8. Kohoutek (3/5)
9. Auctioneer (Another Engine) (2.5/5)
10. Good Advices (2.5/5)
11. Wendell Gee (3.5/5)