Sunday, March 16, 2008

REM - Hollow Man

The piano creeps in quiet, slow, plaintive and a mournful voice starts telling us why all this emotion is so important.

I've been lost inside my hell
Echoes fall on me
I took the prize last night for complicatedness
For saying things I didn't mean and don't believe

Believe in me - believe in nothing
Corner me and make me something
I've become the hollow man now
I've become the hollow man I see

The story continues with a wonderfully screwed up dysfunctional narrator admitting his guilt. This will become a classic song because of its build-up from despondency alone at the piano to complete hopelessness in the middle of loud rock guitars, bass and drums. Beautiful composition with an exceptional arrangement that never pretends to be joyful in the face of depression. When I heard the single last month I was sure this would become a favorite album, and now that it’s arrived I am not only sure for myself, I am confident that many others will pick up on the outstanding rock and roll this band is still capable of. I’m pleased for humanity that poets can be allowed to perform from this deep in their guts. Shoutouts for Horse To Water (“you’re only as big as your battles”), Man-Sized Wreath (“everybody looking like they just don’t care”), and Living Well Is The Best Revenge (“the gospel according to who?”). REM