Tuesday, 4 February 2014

R.E.M. - Every Day is Yours to Win

               R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early attention because of Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's unclear vocals. R.E.M. released its first single, "Radio Free Europe", in 1981 on the independent record label Hib-Tone. Through some changes in musical style, the band continued its career into the next decade with mixed critical and commercial success, despite having sold over 85 million records worldwide.[4] In 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. R.E.M. disbanded amicably in September 2011, announcing the split on its website.


"Every Day is Yours to Win," is a ballad that sounds like it's from Reveal, but a bizarre alternate universe version of Reveal that's actually enjoyable. Hell, the beatnik poetry meets Patti Smith that is "Blue" has no real equivalent in the band's catalog, and is quite enjoyable because of it.


This song written by R.E.M. is quite a singular one. It is at the same time a really simple song, but that doesn't make it any worse, as it helps to focus properly on the lyrics, which seem to be the central element of the song. The sweet, clean and reverberated arpeggios of the electric guitar mixed with the insistent drums give a bitter-and-sweet-ish (yes, I invented this) sound, making this song unique. The vocals seem to be a little distant (yeah, that famous phone effect), but nevertheless they are very present in the song. The chorus comes in with a one-note distorted guitar riff, and that breaks with the previous fragile verse. Finally, the song fades out with the clean guitar that we heard in the verses. We can definitely say that this song worth listening !

The video clip made for the band is quite singular : it shows some extracts of videos of unknown people doing different things that are not connected with each other. Maybe they represent those heroes that the lyrics mention ('and that's how heroes are made'), but in a way that they are painted as everyday heroes, the standard people. Also, as those videos are obviously made for the Youtube site web, they are trying to get some views, to be known. The song makes references to the time passing ('with the clock, tik tok'), and the fact that nothing is easy in life ('it's not all cherry pie'), but its worth fighting for ('its out there waiting for you'). That can surely be connected to those strangers that had the luck to appear on the official clip of one of the most well-known bands nowadays...