R.E.M. – Everybody Hurts

Yes, everybody votes, sometimes, and everybody poops, sometimes. In fact, thanks to this stupid song, every time I hear someone say “everybody onesyllablesverbs” I either say or think a mournful “…soooometimes…” So thanks a bunch of chuckles, “Everybody Hurts,” for annoying all of my friends.

If it isn’t already annoying them, discerning bunch that they are, by being a schlocky slice of cheese. A bunch of strings and slowly building climaxes built around a simple arpeggio and the idea of helping teenagers get through high school. Blech! And yet…I like it. Not enough to keep it on my computer or listen to it when I’m sad, because I have no use for it and wouldn’t have back in high school when I was busy taking too long to transition from Smashing Pumpkins fan to Dead Kennedys fan but enough about me, but enough to appreciate a nice, well-constructed sentiment. Plus, Stipey’s got one fine voice. And maybe it’s hypocritical of me, because I loathe the yearly “you’re beautiful in every way!” song that some pop star sings. Maybe I’m a sucker for sympathy without self esteem. Let’s go with that.

The rest of the single is just silly and you don’t need it. There’s a demo of “Star Me Kitten,” the drumless, mostly guitarless come-on oddball, with all the comprehensible words removed. You fools! The words were the only good part! Then there’s an acoustic live version of “Losing My Religion” that’s statistically significantly worse for having the drums replaced by bongos and way too much thumpy bass. Then there’s NON-ALBUM TRACK (as the packaging kindly reminds me) “Organ Song,” which is just three minutes of swirly church organs. Which shouldn’t be too surprising given the title, but come on! That’s no organ song! That’s an organ doodle!

This single makes me sad. I expended all my empathy feeling for the title track. Also, the demo and the NON-ALBUM TRACK are available elsewhere, so the acoustic live song is the extent of the original content here unless you count “Everybody Hertz” fading out a few seconds earlier. Doesn’t anybody ever know that the world’s a subway subway? Anybody??

3/10

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