R.E.M. – Lifes Rich Pageant

You know those albums that, as a music fan, you are supposed to know? They are the ones that are universally accepted as being great, genre-defining, or some other superlative. I would argue that a full 50% of self-proclaimed music fans have listened to less than a third of these “must listen” albums.

You don’t have to admit it; I will admit it for us. I have never heard Bitches Brew or Houses of the Holy or Blood on the Tracks or hundreds of others. I might hear them all one day, but I am ok if I do not make it there.

Lifes Rich Pageant is one of those remarkable albums that I have been fully aware of for a long time but have never listened to. So, when I came across this record I knew that I should buy it.

I am not going to be able to write a groundbreaking editorial about a 31 year old album from one of the greatest bands in past half century. But, I can tell you what this record sounds like to me as I have listened to it today. Lifes Rich Pageant is an incredibly 80s sounding record and an incredibly timeless sounding record simultaneously. The angst captured on this record makes it perfect as the soundtrack to an unnamed Brat Pack movie. You can hear the teenage love and hate and melodramatic feelings as Lifes Rich Pageant spins on the turntable. The pop-rock alternative sound creates an energy that permeates through this album and it kind of makes me want a pretzel from the mall food court.

This record would also fit in with everything that is currently on modern alternative radio. The music here could be presented as brand new and no one would ever question it. I imagine this is a result of R.E.M. being the basis of so many modern artists.

Lifes Rich Pageant is just good. I know that is a simplistic way to describe this record, but it is true. This album is solid and just plain good music.

My favorite track: Superman

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