R.E.M. – Bittersweet Me

The cover helpfully announces that this song is “from the film STANCO e NUDO”, which is Mexican for “stinky and nude-o”, so you know that this is going to be something lascivious.

And by that I mean very little, as this is about as normal a song as Arie M. would ever put out, a verse-chorus-verse alt-rocker about self-doubt something and how hard it is to be white, and it’s really quite good and the guys all make zombie faces on the back cover and you really realize how much better looking Michael Stipe is than his bandmates, shaved head and all. He also makes the best zombie face, by far, and has a nice thatch of upper chest hair. It’s magical.

But you, dear reader, aren’t like the zero other people who bought this single because they saw “STANCO e NUDO,” no, you’re here for the B-sides! And sadly, this crop of besides are merely mediocre. There’s two slightly different versions of album tracks and one live non-albumer, but the choices for redos are “Undertow” and “New Test Leper,” already among the least inspiring of songs from the first nine of NAIHF, and the cover “Wichita Lineman” has one nice vocal hook and is otherwise a dull slowpoke.

5 / 10


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