Trust Me #39 - Pop Song 89 by R.E.M.
Should we talk about the weather?
Should we talk about the government?
So asks Michael Stipe on Pop Song 89, from R.E.M.'s seminal Green album, a song that still sounds fresh and vital all these years down the line. And after revisiting it lately I had to laugh at the two genius questions asked in the hook.
I was fortunate enough to spend 2-weeks in Portugal recently. I phoned my Mum back in Scotland regularly and she was always moaning about the weather - more so than the government!
And then ... chaos ... what a f**king mess the country is in. Should we talk about the government? Yeah we should because they are a shambles, an embarrassment and something has to change.
Hopefully that change will come in the form of independence for Scotland. We're sick of Westminster, sick of the Tories who just don't give a f**k about people, they don't care and that was sadly evidenced right at the top and very prominently by Boris Johnson.
It's not just our government. The world is overheating and there seems to be no urgency from governments across the globe in relation to the climate crisis. Action could be too late. We need to talk about both - seriously!
Back to music, my saviour, my escapism. Probably yours too if you're reading this.
Pop Song 89 bursts into life with an urgent rhythm guitar over Motown-esque beats, before Peter Buck starts what sounds like a complicated but playful guitar riff. Then Michael Stipe is in with a verse that sounds like it could be a chorus.
Hello, I saw you, I know you, I knew you
I think I can remember you name, name
Hello, I'm sorry I lost myself
I think I thought you were someone else
And then it's into the aforementioned chorus, the 1st verse is repeated and then the chorus. So, very quickly, you find yourself singing the song. The repetition, the hello intro, the catchy chorus, the guitar riff ... it works so well.
This all happens within 90-seconds, there is then an instrumental that leads back to Buck's riff, then a verse, chorus and 30-second outro.
R.E.M were remarkably prolific through the 80's and 90's. 6 albums in the 80's, starting with their debut Murmur in 1983, bookended by Green. And then they smashed the 90's with Automatic For The People in 1991 through to Up in 1998.
Anyway, I'm pretty fed up talking about the government. Lets talk about the weather!
I've also collated them all into a playlist on Spotify that you can find by searching for Everything Flows - Trust Me , or you can CLICK HERE