R.E.M. – Tongue

Ah, the single sequence of singles for Monster is almost at an end, and I’m left with the final series of live tracks (or “Live Trucks” as iTunes seems to think this CD is titled) for “Tongue,” the album’s last single. “Tongue” is a curious track. It’s a weird piano-led song filled with Michael Stipe pontificating in falsetto about, I think, oral sex in a rather mean way (“I am ashamed to say / Ugly girls know their fate / Anybody can get laid”) that’s charming but awful, which is pretty great in its own way, but disturbing and awkward at the same time. Your mileage may vary.

The live tracks (nothing like live tracks) are taken from Saturday Night Live and from the album, and mostly an expose of the album as a cheap trick for stadium rock attempts from aging legends, and that’s cool to a point, but mostly sad to hear out. All three tracks (“What’s the Frequency, Kenneth” and “Bang and Blame” and “I Don’t Sleep, I Dream”) come across like they do on the album; static passive reflections on a middle-aged sex life, and that’s okay, but who needs it? My stomach hurts too much to comment much more, but let’s eviscerate the fucks who deny the need for it while simultaneously turning up our noses. I couldn’t understand either. Go Jays.

Also, I don’t know if I could ever really have a fuck buddy. And my problem isn’t emotional attachment, but I can’t imagine having sex with someone and not wanting to be pals afterwards. I’ve never had sex (save for angry sex) where I’ve felt anything other than calm and friendly and postcoitally pleased. If I had sex with someone with someone I barely knew I’d say “hey, we just had sex. High five! Let’s order pizza and hang out. It’s cold out, stay on my spare mattress, you nice sexy person.” There’s no way I’d tell someone with my cum in their hair to get out, and I don’t think I like anybody who does. And that’s my problem with fuck buddies.

6 / 10


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