Turning away from the sweet pop of Out of Time, R.E.M. created a haunting, melancholy masterpiece with Automatic for the People. At its core, the album is a collection of folk songs about aging, death, and loss, but the music has a grand, epic sweep provided by layers of lush strings, interweaving acoustic instruments, and shimmering keyboards. Automatic for the People captures the group at a crossroads, as they moved from cult heroes to elder statesmen, and the album is a graceful transition into their new status. It is a reflective album, with frank discussions on mortality, but it is not a despairing record – "Nightswimming," "Everybody Hurts," and "Sweetness Follows" have a comforting melancholy, while "Find the River" provides a positive sense of closure. R.E.M. have never been as emotionally direct as they are on Automatic for the People, nor have they ever created music quite as rich and timeless, and while the record is not an easy listen, it is the most rewarding record in their oeuvre.
You're working on a new product or project, or trying to overhaul an existing one. You've recognized that the best way to de-risk this endeavor is to learn about your customer— what problems they're trying to solve, their abilities and frustrations, and most importantly, how they'll make the decision to buy—or not buy— your future product. In this course, you'll learn how to prepare for and conduct your first highly effective customer interview, how to get people to talk freely, how to best take notes on what they say, and how to share what you've learned with your team.