1. What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
2. Crush with Eyeliner
3. King of Comedy
4. I Don't Sleep, I Dream
5. Star 69
6. Strange Currencies
8. Bang and Blame
9. I Took Your Name
10. Let Me In
11. Circus Envy
Number of CDs: 1
Recording Type: Studio
Recording Mode: Stereo
R.E.M.: Michael Stipe (vocals); Peter Buck (guitar); Mike Mills (bass); Bill Berry (drums).
Additional personnel: Bertis Downs (keyboards); Jefferson Holt, Sally Dworski, Ane, Lynda, Lou, Rain.
Recorded at Ocean Way Recording, Los Angeles, California; Criteria Recording Studios, Miami, Florida; Crossover Soundstage, Atlanta, Georgia; Kingsway Studio, New Orleans, Louisiana.
MONSTER was nominated for a 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album.
MONSTER has nothing in common with the elegant, mannered sounds R.E.M. has been producing since GREEN. While you can discern allusions to hard rock icons from Neil Young and Mott The Hoople through Television and Nirvana, MONSTER is neither a faddist grunge album nor a laundry list of influences--but certain subliminal references seem to spark R.E.M.'s muse, inspiring a dozen powerhouse songs.
The classic R.E.M. sound is churned through a meat grinder and served up raw and bleeding on MONSTER. From the opening power chords of "What's The Frequency, Kenneth?" through the desperate raga rock of "You," Peter Buck is the hero of MONSTER. Buck's pealing rhythm guitar and bassist Mike Mills' melodic counterpoint are mixed front and center, so that vocalist Michael Stipe has to shout to be heard...imagine a typical P.A. arena mix.
Meanwhile, the enigmatic Stipe experiments with a variety of new vocal guises. He plays a haughty rock star on the prowl with a droll Bowie delivery on "Crush With Eyeliner," while unveiling a Gabriel falsetto on "I Don't Sleep, I Dream," Southern soul mannerisms on "Tongue," and Jaggerish menace on "I Took Your Name." But the best thing about MONSTER is that in their quest not to repeat themselves, to push the envelope on their performance style--to change their sound--R.E.M. has dipped back into their roots and emerged with a truly classic rock album.