Murmur cover



Murmur was R.E.M’s first full-length album. It followed closely on the heels of Chronic Town, a thoroughly enjoyable five-song EP that staked out what would be the band’s stylistic territory for the first few years: jangly, Byrds-derived guitar pop with a distinctly quirky lyrical bent. Murmur included a re-recorded version of “Radio Free Europe,” their breakout single, and thrillingly perfect songs like “Sitting Still,” “Laughing,” and “Catapult.” Singer Michael Stipe’s particular genius was for writing lyrics that conveyed whimsical sweetness without ever making much logical sense — an intriguing strategy. And the hooks were irresistible.

Rick Anderson

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