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January 31, 2012 | Format: MP3

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: January 1, 1994
  • Release Date: January 31, 2012
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 49:10
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0015C3VDU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,452 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 59 people found the following review helpful By "dave3k" on May 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I was walking through the used-record shop and was disgusted to find several copies of Monster. Why did so many people give this tantalizing rock record away? Perhaps because it doesn't offer the mainstream chamber-folk that hooked them on Automatic, or the jangle-pop that 80's purists want still more of. Monster is NOT the shallow, failed attempt at grunge that many of these crazy reviewers would have you believe. It's still got more musical scope than Automatic and its songs range from wild rockouts to fuzzy ballads. The beautiful, shimerring "Strange Currencies" is what the plodding "Everybody Hurts" should've been. "Circus Envy", "Star 69", and "What's the Freq.." are also standout cuts. A few of the more experimental tracks seem half-formed, but none are annoying. Awash in feedback and pulsing with creativity, Monster is as unique as any REM album. Delete your "What's the Frequency, Kenneth" mp3 and buy the whole album, 'cause it's far more than the slip-up, sellout record these fools would have you believe.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By winkingtiger on September 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I don't normally write reviews for discs as over-reviewed as this one (109 reviews and counting), but I thought I might be able to offer a different perspective on this album, seeing as how my two favorite REM albums are 'Monster' and 'Murmur', and I find 'Green' unlistenable! This may put me in a special group of REM let me explain why I love this album so!
If 'Automatic' was the first sign that REM was breaking out of the pretentious, chirpy, god-awful bubble gum of 'Green' and 'Out Of Time' by becoming more serious and austere (albeit extremely low-energy), then 'Monster' finished REM's re-emergence as a newer, better-than-ever and extremely hard-rocking ensemble. Gone are any additional instruments (strings, brass, mandolins, etc.), this is just the four REM dudes rocking their socks off. They also seem to be enjoying the new energy level, and that sense of enthusiasm permeates the album.
For you gloom n' doom fans (me too!) there are still the tormented 'Let Me In' and the wistful and countrified 'Strange Currencies', also the ethereal raga-rock of 'You'. But this album is mostly about the rockers. From 'What's The Frequency, Kenneth?" on, this CD never lets up the loud, buzzing and partified atmosphere. I also like how Stipe sings in a variety of voices, falsetto on 'Tongue', and a Gordon Lightfoot-esque growl for 'Crush With Eyeliner'. Other faves are 'I Took Your Name' and the chugging 'Circus Envy'. The only tune I'm not 100 percent behind is 'King Of Comedy', although it has great lyrics, it's a wee bit grating.
All in all, if you like REM, AND you like to rock, pick this one up. Used, it's often cheaper than any other album by them (probably due to most fans wanting to hear 'Losing My Religion' redone another 1000 times...).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alan Koslowski on October 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
After the more elaborate, studio-oriented productions of Out of Time (1990) and Automatic For the People (1992), REM knew it was time to tour after an extended hiatus. To that end, they recorded a Monster (1994). Upon releases, many long-time fans accused REM of jumping on the lucrative grunge bandwagon. While Monster is louder and more guitar oriented than REM's previous releases, it isn't REM's attempt at grunge. Instead, REM combines the the blarring distortion of The Velvet Underground [circa White Light, White Heat (1967)] with the pop sensibilities of glam rockers like New York Dolls. If anything, Monster is a creative departure from REM's previous albums; something they usually aren't given enough credit for.
While Monster isn't as ambitious as REM's best work [Murmur (1983), Document (1987), Automatic for the People (1992)], it is a compelling, enjoyable album. With such a jarring musical environment, it's not surprising that the vocals seen deliberately obscured. Beneath the distorted guitars and propulsive rhythm section, Stipe's singing is often distorted to the point of incomprehensibility. On many tracks, only a few lines are discernable, which is fine because the overall presentation is what is important here. Appropriately, when words do emerge, most seem related to themes of obsession, sex, and possibly death (while making Monster REM's close friends Kurt Cobain and River Phoenix died). Despite the potentially bleak themes, REM's keen pop sensibilites (and humor) are never buried.
Monster seems a largely forgotten release from REM. Most ardent fans consider it an artistic compromise (and therefore dismiss is all together) while most others don't pay much attention because it isn't among REM's best albums (to an extent, this is a fair assessment).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Biker395 on June 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
So-called because it was a "Monster" to complete, this album is a matter of love and hate. People love it. People hate it. People love to hate it. I'm one of those that hates to love it.
There is no question that after "Automatic for the People", this album is a double-whammy disappointment. First, it does a complete 180 from the soft, moody, and melodious "Automatic" to a loud, deliberately distorted sound. It's hard to imagine a more abrupt transformation from one album to the next. Second, it's not nearly as deep nor as consistent as "Automatic." But how could it be? "Automatic" was brilliant ... a masterpiece. Measured according to that standard, that "Monster" would be a disappointment is hardly a surprise ... almost any album would be. But once you are willing to set aside your disappointment for what it could have been, "Monster" can be seen for what it is ... a fine rock-n-roll album, and a chance to lighten up a bit.
As is the case with "Automatic," the direction of the album is clear at the outset. "What's the Frequency, Kenneth" is all blistering guitars and heavy bass. And it's ... well, it's fun. How could anything poking fun at Dan Rather not be?
The next song, "Crush with Eyeliner" is also replete with electric guitars and heavy bass, but it adds a couple of interesting musical elements ... a bluesy shuffle synchronized with a heavy guitar fuzzbox. The shuffle works particularly well, because the song itself is about admiration for a woman "like three miles of bad road" walking down the street. I have no problem at all imagining her stroking by. "Crush with Eyeliner" is unique ... it's really hard to compare it to anything else ... the best I can do is say that it's like a down-and-dirty version of Roy Orbison's classic "Pretty Woman." Serious? No.
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