It sold well, had a couple of hit singles, got decent reviews at the time. By the late 90’s it was a permanent resident of the bargain bin at record stores and nowadays any discussion about REM will usually contain the phrase “I liked them until Monster”
I don’t remember my REM fan friends hating it in at the time. Although I preferred the early folksy IRS albums, I listened to Monster a decent amount after I bought it back then. I was listening to some old MP3’s in my car tonight and there were a few songs from Monster. About like I remembered, nothing particularly bad or cringeworthy. My impression though was that it sounded very dated. Most of there stuff from 1983-1992 is timeless. Monster sounds like an album from 1994. If it had been a debut album by some other band in 1994 it probably would have been a moderate success and then lumped in with all those other generic mid 90’s ‘modern rock’ bands. So I still don’t think it’s awful, it just suffers when compared to the previous work.
What’s your opinion?