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Bring back the running man

Get rid of R.E.M.

ALBUM: Accelerate
LABEL: Warner Bros

A&E staff member Justin Flower was enjoying his afternoon last Sunday, finishing off a story about a local band, when he received, on his desk, R.E.M.’s new album. Realizing that Micheal Stipe is still alive and making music, Flower was instantly overcome with anguish upon seeing the CD.

This epiphany materialized from previous anguish Flower endured when, as a child, he was exposed repeatedly for long periods at a time to “Losing My Religion,” one of the band’s most famous singles. The constant radio airplay, accompanied with the catchy lyrics and addictive, melodic guitar-strumming, created a sensation of constant humming to the tune of hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm-hummm-humm-hmmm, as well as incessant finger snapping.

Doctors called it a lost cause, with their only prescription for the distraught child coming in the form of a Lenny Kravitz album. As one can only assume, Kravitz managed to escalate the child’s turmoil into a boiling hatred of all things adult contemporary, the one notable exception being Bruce Springsteen and his song “The Streets of Philadelphia,” a classic, soulful serenade.

Readers should not be overly worried for Mr. Flower; he has managed to work through his inner AC demons and is pushing forward in his goal to become a brooding, cynically charged music aficionado.

For his review of the new album, Flower chose to offer two Haiku’s with differing perspectives of R.E.M. The first perspective is extremely emotional and written in the form of a personal narrative; while the second Haiku takes a step back for a more omniscient observation of the band.

I hate Michael Stipe
I hate his scruffy Baldness
Stop making music

Micheal Stipe is old
He should really go to bed
R.E.M. is back

A note of warning, skip the next two paragraphs if you do not want to have “Losing My Religion,” stuck in your head.

“Consider this. Consider This. Oh no, I’ve saaaiiid too much.”

Yes, you have, said too much. You have said enough. That is me in the corner, hiding from your crappy songs.

Actual lyric from track three on the new album: “Everybody here comes from somewhere,” right after that line, Stipe rambles on about a summer camp and crying. Cringe-worthy.

The album is dead.

Because of this, Justin is going to offer single song reviews from time to time. Here is a noteworthy tune that’s been popping up in and around his life over the past couple of days.

Utah Saints
SONG: Something Good ’08 (Vanshe Tech edit)

“It’s the freshest move I’ve ever seen. It was like he was floating on air,” said Benjamin Pew, a fictional character from 1989 Cardiff, featured in the music video for “Something Good.” A good laugh and impressive dancing, the video can be viewed on YouTube. Utah Saints became famous in the U.K.’s burgeoning rave scene back in 1992 when they released the original version of “Something Good.” A looped vocal, the only lyric in the track, is a sample from a Kate Bush song called “Cloudbusting.”

The remixers, Vanshe Tech, are a spinoff of Sydney dance-rock band Van She. Their Wikipedia entry refers to them as being “fresher than Flavor Flav,” and they’re living up to that motto by bringing a lot of new electro flavor to some classic tracks.

On “Something Good,” they keep the main pieces, vocal harmony, melody and piano chords reminiscent of classic Fatboy Slim, but rework it with a heavy kick, rolling bass, and a high-filtered breakdown.

Something Good
Summer dance anthem
Running man big in ’08
The Brits do it best

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