Monday, April 7, 2008

CD Review: Perfect Circle

1) Pop Song
2) Mc Carty
3) Welcome To The Occupation
4) Heron House
5) If I Could Turn You Inside Out
6) Orange Crush
7) Gravity
8) Swan Swan
9) Begin The Begin
10) Pretty Persuasion
11) I Belive
12) King Of The Birds
13) Crazy
14) Finest Work Song
15) You Are Everything
16) Academy Fight Song
17) Stand
18) Perfect Circle
19) Get Up
20) End Of The World
You got tickets to an REM show? Nice! Just pray that Michael Stipe's singing is good!
That's the only complaint I have about this rare live bootleg of the legendary band, which I found at, of all places, the Beebe Library. For the most part, I like what I hear. The band has a nice sound, which is somewhere between early Beatles and Nirvana, with a pinch of mandolin.
Unfortunately, Stipe's live vocals are closer to Cobain's than to John and Paul. Down a shot every time his voice cracks, and you'll have passed out by "I Belive". The terrible singing hampers an otherwise fine disc.
You'll find plenty of great stuff: catchy songs, solid musicianship, loudspeaker, and, yes, mandolin. Then-drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, and bassist Mike Mills do a great job backing Stipe's shaky vocals. I know I sound like I'm blasting the guy, but to be fair, he and the others did a great job writing all these songs.
I'm not a hardcore REM fan, but judging from this CD, they're a decent band whose singer can't sing live. I bet you're better off with the studio versions of these rocking songs. Borrow this if you're a fan.
***1/2 out of five

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