Monday, 14 November 2011

Music Monday: REM

At My Most Beautiful by REM

I read an interview with REM in The Guardian on Friday, which prompted me to spend the weekend revisiting some of my favourite albums of theirs.  I love New Adventures In Hi-Fi (which I always think of as I relatively new REM album, so imagine my shock when I realised it was released in 1996.  Yep, that's how old I am: something that happened 15 years ago is 'recent'!); Monster was the album playing in the background when I fell in love for the first time; I have a great fondness for Nightswimming and Sweetness Follows from the album that sent them into the stratosphere, Automatic For The People.  But if I had to narrow it down, I think my favourite REM track would be this one. 

At My Most Beautiful is, for me, the most perfect expression of what it means to be in love. 
When Michael Stipe sings, "I read bad poetry into your machine/ I save your messages
just to hear your voice/ you always listen carefully to awkward rhymes/ you always say your name/ like I wouldn't know it's you, at your most beautiful" there is something wonderful about the reciprocity of the love that he describes.  The fact his lover "listens carefully", the way he describes the leaving of a message, "like I wouldn't know it's you".  These tiny expressions of devotion captured in a few lines of song, so much more impressive than Bruno Mars' recent boast  "I would catch a grenade for ya". 

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