New Adventures in Hi Fi?

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1996, still a teenager and into REMs albulm, 6 years later Im on the deck with a can of Guinness and Im STILL ENJOYING IT... far more that I should be, do I need help? Please help with diagnosis

kiwi, Sunday, 17 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

no you do not its a great album

anthony, Sunday, 17 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

don't fight the feelin'

Ron, Sunday, 17 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Thanks for all the help,I cant say I love Jesus, that would be a hollow claim,he did make some observations and Im quoting them today "never reveal any self doubts to you fuckers"

kiwi, Sunday, 17 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Thanks gents, disregard my above comments, youve restored my faith in humanity in a way even Bono would struggle to appreciate

kiwi, Sunday, 17 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

mmmyeah, i'll give it up for that album. definitely gets an unfair shake. i guess cos they pissed everyone off w/ Monster.

al, Sunday, 17 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

look up - what do you see, all of you and all of me?

eviscerate me to that album - i will go quietly and mourn for a time never to be seen again, for a love never to be felt.

Queen G, Sunday, 17 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Maybe I need to give it a listen again. It's around here somewhere -- I do recall a couple of songs on there easily wiping the floor with all of Monster, pretty much.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 17 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Great album. Will it also take six years that people will discover how phantastic "Reveal" is?

alex in mainhattan, Sunday, 17 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't like REM or Radiohead

Sonicred, Sunday, 17 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Well arent you a ray of sunshine

kiwi, Monday, 18 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

you do need help. theres three good songs but their attempts to rock out are so very painful.

owen hatherley, Monday, 18 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
New adventures is a brilliant, durable, consistent, and consistently underrated album. Reading your message makes me wanna dig it out again, as I havent played it 4 a while.As good as any REM album (bar Automatic and i dont have Reconstruction of Fables).

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Wednesday, 10 April 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
Certainly has aged well. Come back, alternative rock - all is forgiven.

Lukas (lukas), Saturday, 8 November 2003 02:00 (sixteen years ago) link

Overrated album. R.E.M. made nothing decent between "Automatic For The People" and "Up". The two "rock" albums they made in between were ill-advise and are their two worst ever.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Saturday, 8 November 2003 03:07 (sixteen years ago) link

REM is rock for nerds according to Stewart Copeland.

Jim Reckling (Jim Reckling), Saturday, 8 November 2003 03:18 (sixteen years ago) link

and Stewart Copeland is who, according to nerds?

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Saturday, 8 November 2003 08:09 (sixteen years ago) link

the guitarist from the Police

the surface noise (electricsound), Saturday, 8 November 2003 08:14 (sixteen years ago) link

Merely?
I suspected the answer'd be more like 'For rock nerds, Stewart Copeland, compared to R.E.M., is The Who'

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Saturday, 8 November 2003 08:22 (sixteen years ago) link

"REM is rock for nerds according to Stewart Copeland."

Oh, man! I bet Stipey and co. have sleepless nights over that one.

I'd take Monster over New Adventures. I don't know why I've never really got into NIAH, but Monster is almost always the one I have in my walkman. I like that it's a bit messed up and wrong. Great guitar sound as well.

Philip Alderman (Phil A), Saturday, 8 November 2003 14:16 (sixteen years ago) link

the guitarist from the Police

Uh, drummer. Guitarist = Andy Summers, bassist = oh, I think we all know by now.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 9 November 2003 16:33 (sixteen years ago) link

this is the only r.e.m. album that i own. (although i am tempted by that new singles comp). haven't heard it for awhile, but i remember being impressed by how consistent this album was in both hookiness and mood, it's very bittersweet.

disco stu (disco stu), Sunday, 9 November 2003 16:39 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...
I never rated this overrated LP. But I just stuck on an old tape of it today, and it sounds quite good at last!

Always liked 'Bittersweet Me' and 'Electrolite' OK. Maybe it hasn't really improved that much. We'll see.

the bellefox, Friday, 19 August 2005 13:08 (fourteen years ago) link

The one Warners-era R.E.M. album that seems to sound better with each passing year. "E-Bow The Letter," "Bittersweet Me," the really underrated "So Fast So Numb" and "How The West Was Won" are all great; "New Test Leper" and maybe "Undertow" are the only weak songs on the whole damn 69-minute disc. It's also Stipe's zenith as a lyricist (see "Low Desert").

Also from these sessions - a cover of Vic Chesnutt's "Sponge" that's probably my favorite R.E.M. track post-1992.

joseph cotten (joseph cotten), Friday, 19 August 2005 15:17 (fourteen years ago) link


I maintain: Up is underrated. Lop off 3 songs and re-arrange the order & it's a terrific Komeda record.

PeopleFunnyBoy (PeopleFunnyBoy), Friday, 19 August 2005 15:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Those three songs you'd lop off: "Parakeet" and what else? :)

joseph cotten (joseph cotten), Friday, 19 August 2005 15:22 (fourteen years ago) link

Every REM album is 'underrated' by someone, guys. And every REM album has been overrated.

But, yeah, up to about track 10 this is my favorite overrated underrated REM album, after Life's Rich Pageant.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 19 August 2005 15:24 (fourteen years ago) link

I agree that UP is good. I think that it has good tune after surprisingly good tune. 'Daysleeper' I always found beautiful. In fact, it makes Hi-Fi seem not such a great idea in comparison.

the bellefox, Friday, 19 August 2005 17:58 (fourteen years ago) link


I agree with Alfred about overrated/underrated.

I'd cut "Suspicion", "At My Most Beautiful" and...maybe "Walk Unafraid"? Maybe only 2 need to be cut.

I love "Parakeet".

PeopleFunnyBoy (PeopleFunnyBoy), Friday, 19 August 2005 18:03 (fourteen years ago) link

REM should have split in 1995, period.

zeus, Friday, 19 August 2005 18:13 (fourteen years ago) link


I kinda feel like they did, y'know. I love when Christgau refers to them as The Michael Stipe Band now. That's exactly the problem with the post-Berry REM; I never knew the drummer's departure could upset the balance of a band so severely - I guess it's a testament to their prior integrity, in a way.

joseph cotten (joseph cotten), Friday, 19 August 2005 18:16 (fourteen years ago) link

No, I think the three post-Berry albums have all been moves in the right direction. If Reveal is not a better album than Up, it's at least a move away from so much length and Stipe's longer narrative stuff. (I liked his longer narrative stuff, but it was also nice to see him moving back toward writing simpler song poetry.) Around the Sun is the best of the three and IMO their best since Automatic for the People.

x-post: "The Michael Stipe Band" is ridiculous. It's Buck, Mills, and Stipe, minus Berry. They have a great regular band w/ McCaughey and Stringfellow and Bill Rieflin is actually a stronger drummer than Berry was.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 19 August 2005 18:22 (fourteen years ago) link

It's funny, Tim and I seem to be equally ardent R.E.M. fans but for diametrically opposed reasons,

joseph cotten (joseph cotten), Friday, 19 August 2005 18:26 (fourteen years ago) link

"Bill Rieflin is actually a stronger drummer than Berry was."

Bullshit.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 19 August 2005 18:27 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh, I don't know where to even begin with Tim's post. I howl with disagreement over every single point stated in it!

joseph cotten (joseph cotten), Friday, 19 August 2005 18:29 (fourteen years ago) link

It's not bullshit, Alfred. I like Bill Berry's drumming, but Rieflin is a bit of a powerhouse. Have you seen them live with Rieflin?

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 19 August 2005 18:30 (fourteen years ago) link

But R.E.M. songs never needed "power" (whatever it is), they needed precision. Berry was modest, intuitive, and precise as a laser.

joseph cotten (joseph cotten), Friday, 19 August 2005 18:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Tim would be hunky dory if the late George Harrison had replaced Stipe.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 19 August 2005 18:33 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't mean Keith Moon-like power or something. Rieflin seems to me to be a very controlled drummer. He is MORE precise than Berry.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 19 August 2005 18:34 (fourteen years ago) link

Haha, Alfred, no, I LIKE R.E.M. now! You guys are the hataz.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 19 August 2005 18:34 (fourteen years ago) link

I agree that UP is good.
i assume you are talking about unknown pleasures, pinefox.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Friday, 19 August 2005 20:12 (fourteen years ago) link

two months pass...
this is a great album! r.e.m.'s last several releases killed my fandom but listening to this has reminded me of how good they were, when they were good.

gear (gear), Wednesday, 9 November 2005 06:11 (fourteen years ago) link

I spent the week listening to murmur through document and had the same reaction, but god I can't listen to anything later except for bits of automatic. this one = dud

kyle (akmonday), Wednesday, 9 November 2005 07:20 (fourteen years ago) link

This is a very good album. It makes me like the idea of R.E.M., when I think of it, which the other albums I like by them don't do.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Wednesday, 9 November 2005 10:56 (fourteen years ago) link

the older i get the closer this comes to being my favorite r.e.m. album

my name is john. i reside in chicago. (frankE), Wednesday, 9 November 2005 15:58 (fourteen years ago) link

Nice, Tim! I like the idea of Hi-Fi being an REM Manifesto.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 9 November 2005 16:05 (fourteen years ago) link

I tried for many years to like New Adventures as much as I thought I should; granted, I liked it a lot but it kept getting so much powerful praise that I felt I was missing something. Mainly I thought it was too horribly long. But maybe it is an 'as you grow' album or something. I hadn't listened to it for a while when I re-bought it recently on vinyl ($12, didn't think I'd see that again around here). And I have to say it really sounded great to me. Maybe it was having to flip the damn thing over every three or four songs - it kept the end parts from dragging or running together so much. Also, the mix, etc, my better speakers, and so on.

I think the rockers sound fantastic - the opening racket of "Departure" might be what Buck was looking for on Monster but never quite finding. OTM on Low Desert's lyrics. "A road owl hit your windshield..."

I dunno. The whole package works, and it does deliver a consistent mood without sounding the same throughout. It's hard not to hear it as Berry's swan song though, or wonder what might have come next if he hadn't bowed out (and I'm speaking as a general defender of Up and to a lesser extent Reveal).

It's hard to believe this is now almost ten years old.

Doctor Casino, Wednesday, 9 November 2005 16:11 (fourteen years ago) link

I love this record....so so underrated.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Wednesday, 9 November 2005 16:45 (fourteen years ago) link

Hi-Fi is in fact ridiculously good ... VERY underrated. Yes, Stipe's best lyrics.

"Reveal" is also underrated, I think. Good songs all throughout, even the weird stuff like "Beachball" works.

Chris O., Wednesday, 9 November 2005 16:52 (fourteen years ago) link

So there's a New Adventures underground . . . ? Great! I always felt so alone and ashamed for not understanding what was so bad about it.

Vornado, Wednesday, 9 November 2005 16:57 (fourteen years ago) link

My older sister bought this when it came out, and I hated it. I eventually got into it, especially "Electro Lite" and the song with what sounds like a siren.. It's still my favorite REM album after Chronic Town.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 23:24 (thirteen years ago) link

That's not an album.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 23:27 (thirteen years ago) link

Next you'll be telling rappers that they can't call their self-released CDs mixtapes.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 23:31 (thirteen years ago) link

Sorries, I didn't know R.E.M. were calling it an album.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 23:33 (thirteen years ago) link

"New Test Leper" is one of my 10 favorite R.E.M. songs ever, easy

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 01:31 (thirteen years ago) link

eight months pass...

I love about half of this album and usually end up skipping most of the other part.

Will you show me something that nobody else has seen?
Smoke it, drink - here comes the flood!
anything to thin the blood.

awesome!

Z S, Wednesday, 30 May 2007 01:56 (twelve years ago) link

this is still the REM album i enjoy the most. even more than green or murmur or automatic. i hardly listen to them anymore, except for tracks off new adventures. e-bow, electrolite, how the west was won, bittersweet me. all some of their best.

Emily Bjurnhjam, Wednesday, 30 May 2007 02:36 (twelve years ago) link

So very classic. I just lost an auction on ebay for a sealed vinyl copy. =(

Davey D, Wednesday, 30 May 2007 02:38 (twelve years ago) link

Also, my best friend bought this cd for me on my 16th birthday. Even more classic!

Davey D, Wednesday, 30 May 2007 02:39 (twelve years ago) link

Still an excellent album.

Tim F, Wednesday, 30 May 2007 11:35 (twelve years ago) link

'binky the doormat' ... best song about a doormat ever.

WORD!

t**t, Wednesday, 30 May 2007 15:10 (twelve years ago) link

I downloaded this on the recommendation of ILM yesterday-- some pretty good stuff on this, but good God, the "rockers" are incredibly painful ("The Wake-Up Bomb" for example).

Richard Wood Johnson, Wednesday, 30 May 2007 19:47 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

OOoohhhhhh the wake up bomb.

piscesx, Saturday, 19 July 2008 02:47 (eleven years ago) link

This is my favorite REM album, bar none.

stephen, Saturday, 19 July 2008 02:57 (eleven years ago) link

i think it just might be one of their best. certainly their last really good record.

the next grozart, Saturday, 19 July 2008 03:18 (eleven years ago) link

It's way below their best early to mid-career work, but it's half a terrific album and yeah, it's "certainly their last really good record."

Daniel, Esq., Saturday, 19 July 2008 03:21 (eleven years ago) link

way below their best early to mid-career work

strongly disagree w/this, I think these songs are some of their best

half a terrific album
I would say 2/3 terrific 1/3 good to decent, which considering the length is impressive. Still their longest release by far and quite varied, it's almost like their version of Sandinista.

sleeve, Saturday, 19 July 2008 04:15 (eleven years ago) link

Great album. Will it also take six years that people will discover how phantastic "Reveal" is?

OTM! Reveal is also excellent.

stephen, Saturday, 19 July 2008 06:04 (eleven years ago) link

The end of a really bad period for R.E.M. It wasn't as bad as "Monster", but still had the same weaknesses. They would get better on "Up" and really good on "Reveal".

Geir Hongro, Saturday, 19 July 2008 09:27 (eleven years ago) link

eleven years pass...

oh my peer your veneer is wearing thin and cracking
the surface informs the underneath -- the underneath is lacking

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 19:38 (one week ago) link

my favorite r.e.m. lyric!

american bradass (BradNelson), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 19:38 (one week ago) link

i couldn't taste it. i'm tired and naked
i don't know what i'm hungry for. i don't know what i want anymore

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 19:45 (one week ago) link

"Bittersweet Me" is my favorite forgotten R.E.M. singer. I love when bands crank out singles that on first listen sound effortless and dull but are in fact distillations that they couldn't have written at any other poitn.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 19:46 (one week ago) link

*single

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 19:46 (one week ago) link

Stipe should legally change his name to "Bittersweet Me".

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 19:48 (one week ago) link

am i a bad person if i say this is my favorite r.e.m. album? i recognize it's not their best, not by a longshot, but i've probably listened to it more than any of their other albums.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 19:49 (one week ago) link

i am already dying for the NAiHF reissue. the monster tour seems to have curated their last great songs. "electrolite" is a high quality "all of my love" level sign-off and i am eager to hear whatever else they demoed to get to this

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 19:51 (one week ago) link

I am never eager to hear demos, especially for albums as long as Hi-Fi, which I hasten to say I love.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 19:56 (one week ago) link

austin, this is my favorite r.e.m. album

american bradass (BradNelson), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 19:56 (one week ago) link

murmur and monster hot on its heels

american bradass (BradNelson), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 19:57 (one week ago) link

from what I remember this is the era when the Brits took to R.E.M. hard, embracing this and Up.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 19:59 (one week ago) link

bill's final tour. the secret ingredient pre-retirement. capture the fleeting magic

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 20:00 (one week ago) link

so many bangers on this. undertow, leave, bittersweet me, etc. etc.

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 20:08 (one week ago) link

"e-bow" was my favorite rem song of all time for a while, maybe it still is. "low desert" vastly underrated or at least undermentioned

american bradass (BradNelson), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 20:11 (one week ago) link

prob my favorite set of r.e.m. music videos comes from this record too

american bradass (BradNelson), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 20:13 (one week ago) link

"Be Mine"'s verse chords bears= an uncanny resemblance to Collective Soul's "Shine."

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 20:13 (one week ago) link

i wrote this very lengthy r.e.m. overview on my blog some years back and it remains one of the most looked at entries on the blog. here's what i said about new adventures:

Motherfruggit, I don't care: this album kicks butts with no prejudice. A boxer or your grandma get the same treatment: a swift kick in the hiney by some of the band's most original material ever. The problem is: everybody hates on the darn thing because it's rumoured to be the album that made Bill Berry have an aneurism and say, "Hey dudes, I'm a farmer now." But, as a final sendoff for the band's original lineup, they basically made an update of Document or Green. It rocks a little, it folks a little, but mostly, it entertains a lot. Go ahead and deny it, like everybody else in the world. Call it too long, call it boring or whathaveyou. I call it a creative rebirth. The more rockin' Monster sound hasn't gone away, but with the sonic chances they took on that album, they must have picked up a new flair for studio knob-twiddling because the dynamics and layers achieved on this album sound like no other R.E.M. album before it. Honestly, this is the first R.E.M. album that doesn't sound like every song was just recorded live in the studio — irony supreme, as it was notoriously recorded in pieces amongst makeshift studios and soundchecks during the Monster tour. They've finally gotten a handle on how to properly overproduce an album. It's a weird one, too. I mean, seriously, the single was 'E-Bow the Letter.' Good song, sure. But that's one weird thing to try and get into the top 40 (even though, wow at the balls it took to release that as an a-side; the hook is "Aluminum tastes like fear" ferrchrissakes!). Highlight: 'Leave.' Only the longest and best song they ever did. Yeah, it's that good. (4.5 stars)

i was drinking heavily at the time, so that's why it's so obnoxiously written. sorry.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 20:18 (one week ago) link

i'll ply the tar out of your feathers
i'll pluck the thorns out of your feet

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 20:19 (one week ago) link

it's maybe the ideal "made on the road" record, it's full of hills and valleys and weird roadside attractions, seems to reflect the landscape they were traversing

american bradass (BradNelson), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 20:20 (one week ago) link

LEEEEAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVE
LEEEEAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVE

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 20:20 (one week ago) link

otm. And the landscape and attractions merge with the films in Stipe's head since childhood, hence the not-quite-there-ness of "How the West Was Done..." and "Departure" and "Bittersweet Me."

xpost

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 20:22 (one week ago) link

Thanks guys, I have listened to more R.E.M. in the last week than in the preceding decade

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 20:46 (one week ago) link

move across, candyloss
i move like a tank

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 21:02 (one week ago) link

*candyfloss
blue in the face from navel gaze
you set yourself on fire

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 21:04 (one week ago) link

Holy shit it's a Wednesday morning and I'm on my way to work and "Electrolite" came on and now I'm crying.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 21:45 (one week ago) link

> am i a bad person if i say this is my favorite r.e.m. album?

Absolutely not.

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 22:18 (one week ago) link

from what I remember this is the era when the Brits took to R.E.M. hard, embracing this and Up.

Happened a bit earlier, Out of Time was everywhere the summer of 91 and AFTP was huge, 7x platinum. Didn’t tour them of course so the Monster tour was a big deal. I went to get tickets for the Glasgow show and the queue snaked all around the inside of the SECC and out. In end didn’t matter as show was cancelled following Bill Berry’s aneurism.

Dan Worsley, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 22:28 (one week ago) link

One reason why I get down on post-Bill REM is that I wasn’t done with the New Adventures formula; the monochrome artwork and the sense that this was a band who were aware they’d been around a while but were just going to keep on doing what they do best, which is what Hi-Fi sounds like.

Not that I was hoping for endless xeroxed variations on this exactly but after this album you hear them trying things out, with different influences becoming much more explicit; obviously they felt they had to do this and some of this was a success but I suppose i selfishly felt that New Adventures was a platform for REM to move forward...obviously this went out the window after Bill left

It’s still their most mature album; one can only wonder what might have come as a 4 piece

Master of Treacle, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 01:08 (six days ago) link

yeah agreed, there's a world where this is the base for four more amazing albums that don't sound the same but have this in their DNA, the way murmur is for the 80s stuff

weird ilx but sb (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 01:12 (six days ago) link

I’m a terrible musician but “Be Mine” is about the only song I’ve been able to play half-competently on guitar. Love it and the album so much.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 06:33 (six days ago) link


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