If anyone asks me, REM are always my favourite band. Since the Automatic days when I remember hearing ‘Sidewinder…’, ‘Man on the Moon’, and ‘Everybody Hurts’ on the radio I was in love with the melodies and Stipe’s voice.
First album I bought was Monster on cassette whilst on an exchange in Germany. It wasn’t what I expected and tbh wasn’t what I had hoped for. Yet, after listening to it constantly for the remainder of the trip I was waiting with baited breath for the release of New Adventures…
So much to love about them. They knew how to write a killer pop song, there are so many salacious hooks and each album (even Around The Sun) has some belting tracks on. I’d argue that the majority of albums up to Up have very little in the way of dead / filler tracks.
And to echo @Kallgeese above, Mike Mills is understated. His harmonies, bass playing and occasional lead vocals (check out Yellow River) - simply perfect contrast to the more guttural vocals from Stipe.