Au­to­matic For The Peo­ple (1992)

Total Guitar - - MONITOR -

1

Less a re­sponse to grunge than a re­ac­tion to their own loom­ing mid­dle age, Au­to­matic For The Peo­ple was a slow waltz amid an Amer­i­can main­stream full of mosh pits, a col­lec­tion of stripped-back, melan­choly songs that re­flected on youth, mem­ory and mor­tal­ity. Hyp­notic opener Drive drifts through gen­tle pick­ing and an acous­tic shuf­fle be­fore splin­ter­ing the gloom with a Marshall-cranked solo, while elsewhere the chim­ing, picked strings of man­dolin and bouzouki are back­lit by lay­ers of acous­tic gui­tar on Try Not To Breathe and Monty Got A Raw Deal re­spec­tively. The ‘mu­tated Stax’ of Ev­ery­body Hurts may have lost a lit­tle edge to over-ex­po­sure, but Man On The Moon re­mains an out­stand­ing slice of pop song­writ­ing, its coun­tri­fied twang cour­tesy of Peter Buck’s Tele­caster slide.

Rec­om­mended track: Man On The Moon

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