Monday, July 9, 2018


   Michael has said he took the idea of 'London Bridge is falling down' and expanded on it, which explains the rhyme scheme of the chorus I suppose. Here is another song where the lyrics have some excellent moments, but don't try to get too abstract, in fact the chorus is passive to the point of being unoriginal. As I've gone through this album it has occurred to me that Michael is, for once, older than me as I write this. So far I've marveled at how intricate his lyrics have been on previous albums and reflected on this work and how he accomplished so much considering how young he was when doing it. Chronic Town came out when he was 22, AFTP when he was 32, which to me is absolutely amazing--here he is 44 and the songs speak to me differently. So as I approach these last few songs I have a different respect for Michael and a lot of it has to do with this simplicity, which is not to say he's not trying, or dumbing things down, he's simply explaining what he feels. At times there is forced rhyme, but to let that cloud these songs is not doing them a service. R.E.M. has prided themselves on songs and albums that get deeper the more you listen and I put forth ATS, what the album asks of you is to create the part of you that would identify with each song which is a lot to ask. There are not a lot of stadium rockers here, but a whole lot of introspection. It's as if Michael took the idea of 'Saturn Return' and thought, 'Yeah, more of that.' This was the second single released off of the album and I have to again wonder what they're thinking?! The video is amazing, but if 'Leaving NY' didn't grab anyone's attention, let's release 'Aftermath?' Is this a big FU? Maybe, but it's upbeat and nonthreatening. For a band that released 'Losing My Religion' and thought that would sink them, did 'E-Bow the Letter' caution them on risk taking? This is a lovely song, but where does it fit on the radio, after 'Galveston?'


Now the radio stutters, snaps to life
Some sour song that sets it right
And when London falls he'd like to call but the stars collide
They're beautiful and much maligned
In a universe where you see the worst and it's up to you to fix it

Now you've worked it out
And you see it all
And you've worked it out
And you see it all
And you want to shout
How you see it all

It's easy to dismiss the ‘what's it all about’ crowd
There is no doubt, it's this here now
And you close your eyes, he's not coming back
So you work it out, overfeed the cat
And the plants are dry and they need to drink
So you do your best and you flood the sink, sit down in the kitchen and cry

Now you've worked it out
And you see it all
And you've worked it out
And you see it all
And you want to shout
How you see it all

Now the universe left you for a runners lap
It feels like home when it comes crashing back
And it makes you laugh, and it makes you cry
When London falls and you're still alive
The radio stutters, it makes you laugh
And the aftermath, open up your eyes
You're so alive

Now you've worked it out
And you see it all
And you've worked it out
And you see it all
And you want to shout
How you see it all
How you’ve worked it out
And you see it all
How you've worked it out
And you see it all

   Cool chord progression as usual, adding some quick chords as the song rolls on is great, and the way Peter holds on the F-Bb is a nice touch which Michael picked up with a smooth transition back to the top of the verse. The lead in the middle 8 seems tacked on, completely in character for a Peter lead, but maybe the entire section seems out of place.  If I haven't said it before, I'll always throw barred chords down, but Peter prefers the unbarred form by doubling the strings on the index and using his thumb at the top. It seems like in order to do that it's how you had to learn it, but it sounds authentic if you can go to it.





Chorus Walk (Bridge to Verse)

Middle 8

Middle 8 Lead

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