R.E.M. – Crush With Eyeliner

OooooOOOOOooouuh, I’m sick! It’s just a cold, but it’s at its plan-canceling apex tonight. I’m not drunk (for a change right) but I feel many symptoms of drunkenness: slurred speech, slurred walking, slurred vision. So, while I wait for my girlfriend to come from the party to sort of take care of me, let me tell ya’s about this here single, and not be funny or interesting at all:

C w/E is an odd little song with an over-the-top wavery guitar with dat Monster guitar tone, but it never really takes off and seems to only be a single because an exec thought it sounded youthy and topical to be writing about a “Crush With Eyeliner.” What’s all this about being a “sad tomato”? A reference to lipstick? Well it sounds odd. And while I understand the urge to write a song about self-made deception, the line “we all invent ourselves” is so direct on that point as to be a cudgel of dumbassery. Pass.

Then there are three live tracks! Here you can hear stage banter never heard before or after! To wit:

“I’m really gonna need help with this one” before “Fall On Me”

“Thank you, thank you” after “Me In Honey

“Is Gwen O’Mooney in the house? This one’s for Gwen O’Mooney” before “Finest Worksong”

And that’s all, because this is just a single! The former and latter of the three are standard fare, with Michael Stipe having a bit of an off day and the band running through old hits, but “Me In Honey” provides something new. On record the song features Kate “backup singer on ‘Me In Honey'” Pearson as a backup singer, but here bassist Mike Mills covers them, and dear god he sounds angelic. How does he hit that high high note? It’s the rare sort of thing that makes buying singles worthwhile.

Also, the girl on the front cover is good looking. She looks like a modern hipster with her pink sunglasses, eye makeup, short hair, short bangs, and grandma t-shirt. So there’s that to look at. And inside there’s Michael Stipe looking especially like Morpheus glowering at you. So there’s that to look away from. Then at. Then away from again.

7 / 10

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