Home  |  Hi-Fi Audio Reviews  Audiophile Shows Partner Mags  News       

 

 

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
REM
Murmur - Deluxe Edition

Review By Steven Stone
Click here to e-mail reviewer

Normal Edition, Deluxe Coming Soon

 

  Some CDs really deserve to be re-mastered and reissued. When I first reviewed Murmur in 1983 I wrote, "If words were fattening Michael Stipe would weigh at least 300 lbs since he eats so many of his own lyrics." Stipe's mumbled vocals contributed to the atmosphere of the original release, but made singing along with most of the songs impossible. The new remastered deluxe edition of Murmur may not turn Stipe into a master of eloquent diction, but it sure makes it easier to hear and appreciate the album.

Originally REM were marketed as another of the new wave of alternative bands from Athens, Georgia, along with the B-52's, Pylon, and Swimming Pool Cues. But almost from the beginning REM outdistanced these other bands in terms of mass appeal. Murmur was crowned Rolling Stone's "Album of The Year." The combination of Stipe's cryptic lyrics, quirky vocal style and Peter Buck's minimalist yet rhythmically complex guitar parts created a fusion that was familiar yet so fresh that the jaded rock press responded enthusiastically. Even 25 years later Murmur doesn't sound dated or boring. Sure, it's only rock and roll, but REM's songs such as "Talk About The Passion" feature such interesting melody lines that don't go where you expect them to, that even today they are still refreshingly novel.

To celebrate Murmur's twenty-five-year anniversary I.R.S. music has packaged a newly-re-mastered version with a never before released sixteen-song live performance recorded at Larry's Hideaway in Toronto. The live set includes nine of Murmur's twelve songs as well as three songs from REM's earlier EP album Chronic Town and two songs from 1984's Reckoning. The sonics on the live set are actually better than on Murmur, in that Stipe's vocals are clearer and more upfront than on the atmospheric studio mix. I suspect this was a "live board mix" taken from the PA and mixed directly onto two tracks. The backing vocals are a bit louder than might be ideal, and the overall sound is much drier with less reverb than the band might have liked, but this live set makes for a fascinating comparison between the band's actual "live" sound and their more heavily packaged studio efforts. The live version of "Pilgrimage" kicks the studio version's butt.

In 2007 REM was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If you didn't catch them first time around this new deluxe edition of Murmur is the perfect way to find out why they deserve to be there.

 

 

Enjoyment:

Sound:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

Quick Links


Premium Audio Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews

 

Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Preamplifiers
Amplifiers
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Superior Audio Gear Reviews

 

Videos
Our Featured Videos

 


Show Reports
Montreal Audiofest 2024 Report

Southwest Audio Fest 2024
Florida Intl. Audio Expo 2024
Capital Audiofest 2023 Report
Toronto Audiofest 2023 Report
UK Audio Show 2023 Report
Pacific Audio Fest 2023 Report
T.H.E. Show 2023 Report
HIGH END Munich 2023
Australian Hi-Fi Show 2023 Report
AXPONA 2023 Show Report
...More Show Reports

 

Other
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty

 

 


Industry & Music News

High-End Premium Audio & Music News

 

Partner Print Magazines
audioXpress
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine

 

For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics

 

 

 

     

Home   |   Hi-Fi Audio Reviews   |   News   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us

 

All contents copyright  1995 - 2024  Enjoy the Music.com
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.