It was somewhere between 1983 and 1984 that I discovered R.E.M. I was about 13 years old and in my bedroom near Houston. Surrounded by walls plastered with posters of Duran Duran and The Police, I discovered a college radio station in nearby Pasadena. I don’t remember exactly what song I heard first, but I loved this sound, which was different from other music I listened to at the time. I soon got to meet the college going niece of a family friend. She was so cool and trendy and I was in awe. She had several albums with her for her visit and helped me copy her R.E.M. albums onto cassette tapes. Awesome! I carried R.E.M. with me through high school and onto college, where I got my roommate into them. I have many memories tied to the band and consider them one of my very favorites to this day.
By the time R.E.M.’s tenth studio album, New Adventures in Hi-Fi, was released in 1996, I’d been living in L.A. for a couple of years. At the time, I thought the album was just okay. I was still pretty stuck on their first four albums and didn’t love the newer songs as much. As is often the case, the work has grown on me and I like many of the tracks a lot, especially “Electrolite,” which is to my ears, sort of a love song.