After the somehow pastoral textures of “Out Of Time” and “Automatic For The People” (with mandolins and orchestras taking center stage), nobody could have blamed the band if they wanted to rock out a little once more. And that is what they did on their 1994 release. Named “Monster”, it was a return to their basic sound, and one that elicited strong reactions both in the buying public and in critics. One thing is for sure: the album did leave no one indifferent.
Personally, I find the sound a little unimaginative, with the guitar always going “wahh, wahhhh, wahhhhh” and Michael’s voice left intentionally low on the mix and /or completely distorted (“I Took Your Name”). When the record kicks in (with the successful single “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?”) I am momentarily thrilled, but I quickly become a bit bored until a couple of more subdued performances do roll in. These include the beautiful single “Strange Currencies” and the organ-pumped “Tongue”. The voice is crisp there, and it is easier to focus on the actual message. Continue reading