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Who would you say has been the REM of the past 10 years?

Started by willbo, May 26, 2022, 09:27:04 PM

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willbo

I heard Nightswimming on radio 2 today and I was thinking, I can't really think of an album comparable to "Automatic" from the past ten years. Something gentle and folky but that big and well known. Maybe times changed too much and there just isn't one.

DJ Bob Hoskins

#1
Good question. Not sure there is one, as you say. Even as a rabid R.E.M. fan, by the late 90s I felt that their plaintive acoustic ballad baton had been well and truly passed to Radiohead. Although even as a rabid Radiohead fan I recognise that their peak of popularity was more than 20 years ago and you won't exactly see people humming along to songs from The King of Limbs, if they even get played on the radio (unlike your Man on The Moon or Everybody Hurts or what have you).

The early 2000s were the days of vaguely alternative-adjacent smash hits from the likes of U2, Coldplay etc, which were plenty popular  but nowhere near as good as R.E.M's opus. Then there were loads of records which I would consider sort of tonally similar to Automatic in terms of the 'artistic merit + catchy folk-pop tunes' factor (In An Aeroplane Over the Sea and the Fleet Foxes debut spring to mind) but I struggle to think of any that sold anything near the scale of Automatic.

So in summary: I dunno. Something like The National, maybe?

EDIT: Bon Iver? I really liked his 2nd album, except for the final '80s MOR' track. Much to my dismay, the style of that final track found new popularity with the likes of The War On Drugs, who adopted it wholesale having ditched their earlier (better) more ramshackle sound, and went on to sell out arenas everywhere as a result.  Gah.

Glebe

R.E.M. are due an ABBA-like revival. They're totally unhip but their song catalogue is packed with absolute bangers.


DJ Bob Hoskins

Quote from: Fabian Thomsett on May 26, 2022, 11:10:16 PMLil Dicky.

And of course you had Nicky Minaj's Anaconda, which I can only assume was thematically inspired by The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite.

willbo

Quote from: DJ Bob Hoskins on May 26, 2022, 10:56:10 PMGood question. Not sure there is one, as you say. Even as a rabid R.E.M. fan, by the late 90s I felt that their plaintive acoustic ballad baton had been well and truly passed to Radiohead. Although even as a rabid Radiohead fan I recognise that their peak of popularity was more than 20 years ago and you won't exactly see people humming along to songs from The King of Limbs, if they even get played on the radio (unlike your Man on The Moon or Everybody Hurts or what have you).

The early 2000s were the days of vaguely alternative-adjacent smash hits from the likes of U2, Coldplay etc, which were plenty popular  but nowhere near as good as R.E.M's opus. Then there were loads of records which I would consider sort of tonally similar to Automatic in terms of the 'artistic merit + catchy folk-pop tunes' factor (In An Aeroplane Over the Sea and the Fleet Foxes debut spring to mind) but I struggle to think of any that sold anything near the scale of Automatic.

yeah I thought the same. All the Travis/Coldplay/U2 comeback stuff from the early 00s. And now we have a lot of folky US indie, and Arcade Fire type stuff, but not as massive as REM were.

It's just occurred to me...what about Taylor Swift? Like current Swift of the Folklore/Evermore era. Or maybe Mumford & Sons or someone.

Replies From View

That one going "nur-nur-nur-nur shot gun, nur-nur-nur-nur shot gun" was a horrible whining dirge this decade.  Ruined an episode of Reeves and Mortimer, if that counts.

willbo

Quote from: Replies From View on May 27, 2022, 07:56:00 AMThat one going "nur-nur-nur-nur shot gun, nur-nur-nur-nur shot gun" was a horrible whining dirge this decade.  Ruined an episode of Reeves and Mortimer, if that counts.

I guess you've raised a good point about the singer-songwriter explosion - the George Ezras, Ed Sheerans, etc - of the last decade. Even Noel Gallagher said at the time that singer-songwriters had replaced bands. Is one of them the modern REM? hm. Possibly in the public's ears. I guess one could say Sheeran's "Perfect" occupies a similar place that Everybody Hurts did in the 90s.

Martin Van Buren Stan

Quote from: willbo on May 26, 2022, 09:27:04 PMI heard Nightswimming on radio 2 today and I was thinking, I can't really think of an album comparable to "Automatic" from the past ten years. Something gentle and folky but that big and well known. Maybe times changed too much and there just isn't one.

Mumford and sons?


gilbertharding


purlieu

I actually thought of Taylor Swift's two lockdown albums too, although clearly they're very different in cultural position. And then that made me consider The National. Are they big?

I suppose Mumford and Sons are maybe the closest otherwise. minus the whole actually being a good band thing.

willbo

I thought maybe Biffy Clyro or Foo Fighters. In that they both had a history of being noiser alt rock then became more mainstream. But I don't know enough about either band to say for sure, other than that I hear them at work.

purlieu

Foo Fighters have been around too long for this I suppose. Biffy aren't all that bad a suggestion, with the difference that their recent 'returning to louder stuff' move has actually been far, far less cringey than Accelerate.

chutnut

Quote from: Glebe on May 26, 2022, 10:59:49 PMR.E.M. are due an ABBA-like revival. They're totally unhip but their song catalogue is packed with absolute bangers.

Please no
They couldn't even do anything decent in the last almost 20 years they were together, there's no chance of them being able to do anything decent now

sevendaughters

there hasn't been one. there hasn't even been close to being one.

Dr Rock

There hasn't been one because music has been rubbish since 2005.

jamiefairlie

Different sound but Sigur Ros had the same mix of alternative credibility and media saturation, albeit more as as a soundtrack to trailers and so on.

Famous Mortimer

Quote from: jamiefairlie on May 27, 2022, 02:42:59 PMDifferent sound but Sigur Ros had the same mix of alternative credibility and media saturation, albeit more as as a soundtrack to trailers and so on.
As much as I like Sigur Ros, they're a very very long way from the same level of popularity as REM.

phes

JFC thirty years. What a YOU'RE OLD Klaxon that AFTP is to my younger colleagues what The White Album and Electric Ladyland are to me

Glebe

Quote from: chutnut on May 27, 2022, 12:45:41 PMPlease no
They couldn't even do anything decent in the last almost 20 years they were together, there's no chance of them being able to do anything decent now

I don't mean actually reform!

Tombola

Somewhat related - I was listening to 'Head Carrier' (2016) by Pixies earlier and it reminded me a lot of mid-90s rock R.E.M.


Quote from: jamiefairlie on May 27, 2022, 02:42:59 PMDifferent sound but Sigur Ros had the same mix of alternative credibility and media saturation.

Elbow occupied that space for a few years after the Olympics.

Goldentony

all you bastards gonna have to accept that the answer to this is Taylor Swift

jamiefairlie

Quote from: Goldentony on May 27, 2022, 08:03:30 PMall you bastards gonna have to accept that the answer to this is Taylor Swift

I was intrigued by all those reviews saying this was her bucolic folk rock phase so, despite my scepticism, I gave it a go. It's shite.


Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth


Goldentony

OH THE REM HEADS WANT A BIT HEY, SEE ME ON THE BEACH

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth


Memorex MP3

Quote from: Glebe on May 26, 2022, 10:59:49 PMR.E.M. are due an ABBA-like revival. They're totally unhip but their song catalogue is packed with absolute bangers.
Fleetwood Mac seem like a more appropriate connection; most people got burned out by their bigger songs but there's now a whole generation emerging that barely know them as a result.

REM lack the personalities to hit that kind of level though.