I had a moment of clarity today on what Peter Buck was doing with his guitar on this album. He was using it as a percussion instrument. I always thought he was just copying Roger McGuinn of the Byrd's. But McGuinn played more for melody, and Buck plays more for the rhythm of it I think. This allows Mike Mills to play his bass as an instrument of melody. They switch up the traditional roles of their guitars. This in turn allows Michael Stipe to do some pretty unconventional vocals at times. Too bad for Bill Berry. He just sort of keeps time.
This album was my favorite album for 1984. I was young, and coming out of a rotten relationship, and getting into a good one with my future wife. I didn't know if I was coming, or going. Stipes obscure lyrics were difficult to make meaning of most of the time so I gave each song it's own meaning based upon my life at the time. Those are the best types of songs.
This album is REMs 2nd. It was easier for me to warm up quickly to than Murder. Perhaps because my ear had figured out how to listen to them.
I don't know which REM album is my favorite, however I would put Reckoning up against any of them.
I give this album 4.5 stars out of 5