R.E.M. began to move toward mainstream record production on Lifes Rich Pageant, but they didn't have a commercial breakthrough until the following year's Document. Ironically, Document is a stranger, more varied album than its predecessor, but co-producer Scott Litt – who would go on to produce every R.E.M. album in the following decade – is a better conduit for the band than Don Gehman, giving the group a clean sound without sacrificing their enigmatic tendencies. "Finest Worksong," the stream-of-conscious rant "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," and the surprise Top Ten single "The One I Love" all crackle with muscular rhythms and guitar riffs, but the real surprise is how political the mid-tempo jangle pop of "Welcome to the Occupation," "Disturbance at the Heron House," and "King of Birds" is. Where Lifes Rich Pageant sounded a bit like a party record, Document is a fiery statement, and its memorable melodies and riffs are made all the more indelible by its righteous anger.
Leaving behind the garagey jangle pop of their first recordings, R.E.M. developed a strangely subdued variation of their trademark sound for their full-length debut album, Murmur. Heightening the enigmatic tendencies of Chronic Town by de-emphasizing the backbeat and accentuating the ambience of the ringing guitar, R.E.M. created a distinctive sound for the album – one that sounds eerily timeless. Even though it is firmly in the tradition of American folk-rock, post-punk, and garage rock, Murmur sounds as if it appeared out of nowhere, without any ties to the past, present, or future. Part of the distinctiveness lies in the atmospheric production, which exudes a detached sense of mystery, but it also comes from the remarkably accomplished songwriting. The songs on Murmur sound as if they've existed forever, yet they subvert folk and pop conventions by taking unpredictable twists and turns into melodic, evocative territory, whether it's the measured riffs of "Pilgrimage," the melancholic "Talk About the Passion," or the winding guitars and pianos of "Perfect Circle." R.E.M. may have made albums as good as Murmur in the years following its release, but they never again made anything that sounded quite like it.
Guess I don't need to introduce these two legends if you are following my releases of them in a while. However, let me repeat 'Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia' and 'Dr. Balamurali Krishna' are two of the greatest doyens of their traditions. And in many aspects, this Jugalbandi Live in Hong Kong is one of the greatest moments of Indian Classical.
Gorilla served notice to anyone expecting James Taylor to continue on in the personal, confessional vein of his first few albums that he did not intend to do so…
Satoko is a housewife who lives a comfortable life with her businessman husband Hideyuki and her six-year-old son Masato. One day on her way to pick up Masato, she meets Minoru - a newspaper delivery boy who happens to be playing catch with Masato. At first glance Minoru seems to be a serious, hard-working young man. But she learns that when he was twelve he stabbed and killed his father, who was beating up his mother. He had done this to protect his mother, but instead she abandoned her son and disappeared. Minoru sees a little of his mother in Satoko, and starts to follow her around. As he does, he discovers that Satoko is being threatened by the yakuza Tawara. Soon Satoko's husband Hideyuki senses something wrong as his wife begins to change, and comes up with some wild ideas. As passion and love envelop them, Minoru tries to save Satoko. Satoko wishes to escape, but fear keeps her from doing so. What each person feels… is it reality or just an illusion?