Thursday, 7 February 2008



This was actually the first R.E.M. song that I properly fell in love with.  I heard it in the era of “Out Of Time” and those songs were OK, a bit hippy not necessarily the alternative offering I was being told to believe they were, but this was something different.

As ever being objectionable in his selections this track was regularly played by Danny Baker on his show seemingly as a gesture that he had been into the band long before the current crop of MTV chart hits helped the band find and expand its audience.

“Stand” is a reassuring bounce of a movement.  The composition is one designed to empower and encourage.  In execution the music isn’t entirely different to that of “Shiny Happy People” but the measured sentiments and wiser chosen words feel a world away from such blatant pop sensibilities.  Before you realise it, you have been subjected to a rally call.

Like most great songs this one is memorised from the off.  The songwriting is tight and the hooks bold.  The chorus is punctuated by one big solo syllable word and the rest just naturally follows.  As Michael Stipe offers instruction the echoing response of Mike Mills emphasises the command.  With application there is promise of a better future.  There can be no faulting a track that repeatedly requests/commands that the listener think about their circumstances.

Opening sounding like a fairground carousel it is not subtle but sometimes it is not necessary.  This song will ease your day.

Thesaurus moment: mount.

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