Wednesday, May 13, 2015

12: Everybody Hurts - REM

This is one that would be in the Top Forty of a lot of people I think. Using that same 6/8 rolling thing so common in 50's rock and roll and utilised by Leonard Cohen in 'Hallelujah' up at number 21, it's something gentle and soothing that covers lyrics with a lot of depth and, I remember reading in the news on one occasion, it actually has a proven track-record of pulling people back from the brink of suicide. It's a strong song, no doubt about that. But there are two main reason why it's in the Top Forty.

Firstly musical: right at the end of the song ("so hold on...") the string section kicks in with a melody/line that lifts the whole thing up to a different place, and you can really understand how it can emotionally and psychologically help lift people up also. Despite it all, there is hope. And it's not like Michael Stipe is preaching that at us with the words, music and particularly the strings, it's all framed in such a way that you feel like the song itself is right with you in whatever it is that's dragging you down, and now it's going to lift up and take you with it.

Secondly, this is another of those where you have to watch the video. If you've never seen the video, stop what you're doing, click on the link above and spend the next five minutes and thirty-seven seconds of your life watching the official video. Then try to tell me it isn't the best music video that has ever been made.

You won't manage it.

1 comment:

Kevin Sawers said...

Good choice, Duncan! A beautiful, haunting yet hopeful song, and I agree the video is a work of utter genius.