Is R.E.M. underrated by new music nerds?

I've been in a R.E.M. phase in late 2018, they kept me going through the toughest period of my life. A lot of their stuff especially in their incredible 1987-1996 run means a lot to me and have been pivotal in growing my music taste but emotion aside I think quality-wise they were one of the greatest rock band of all time, if not one the best band. I actually think this is not a hot take.

What I think is an interesting thing to discuss is how R.E.M. are relevant to new audiences of my age (I'm 20 btw) like all the music nerds that grew on the Internet (RYM or /mucore) or the music channels or profiles on YouTube and Instagram that review or examine music.

I think that in this demographic area R.E.M. are underrated or more specifically they are put inside the categories of "Gen X bands" like U2 or similar. And i think it's a shame because they have one the best musical palettes of all time provided by really skilled musicians and an incredible and eclectic vocalist and songwriter like Michael Stipe. A band that even when they became globally famous they managed to stay coherent to their sound (until at least the early 90s) and political ethic. Their material should get more recognition among younger audiences like mine considering the huge influence they had on a lot of artist.

What do you think?


Seola30.. since you are new here let me give you some unsolicited advice. This forum can be a very good source of information if you are trying to learn more about audio gear and accessories. Music, not so much. As soon as I read your post I thought " oh s*** here it comes ". What followed was an onslaught of a bunch of boomers screaming "get off my lawn" and "that's not music now this is real music"(insert band here). For what it's worth I myself am in my mid 50s and although I read the forum daily because I am interested in gear I rarely post for this reason. REM was a magnificent band and just because they became popular does not make this less so. Don't let anybody tell you different. You seem sincere and decent. I must respectfully say that this is not the place for you.


Yes.  You apparently are confused.  Clear thinking has nothing to do with one's subjective likes and dislikes.

In this case it didn't take much to clear my brain of over-rated, low talent, gimmicky groups whose time is well past.  And before you say I'm too young to appreciate such obvious talent, I was born 5 years before you, if your handle is indicative.

I’m with mksun. I was one of thousands of college DJ’s who were swept away by their first EP release Chronic Town and saw them live a bunch of times those years. To my younger ears, REM, along with a few lesser known bands such as the Replacements and Hüsker Dü, revolutionized a pretty stagnant music scene (bad hair bands, Huey Lewis et al & Talking Heads/Police/Clash/E Costello with 1 album remaining). I always felt that Chronic Town, Murmur, Reckoning, Fables.... & Lifes Rich Pageant are among one of the best album runs in music history. And although they would still make some great songs afterwards (What’s the Frequency, Man on the Moon, etc), I lost much of my interest afterwards as Michael Stipe’s lyrical style abruptly changed from more his more dreamy, rhythmic poetry towards to a more overt, literal political sermons. The politics of such rarely ages well (see Sting’s "Russians").