With this disc, REM really showed themselves as a band willing to take chances and experiment. Whereas their previous efforts had all been quite mellow, this one was not. Even with this big change in their sound, the album was a hit.
The album opens with the first single, What's the Frequency, Kenneth? It is a great and fun song, perfect to lead off the album and the loudest of all of the tracks here. Strange Currencies is probably the highlight of the album. It is a nice ballad and was a radio hit. Many find it similar to their song Everybody Hurts. I like this song better as its lyrics and message are less obvious. Bang and Blame falls somewhere between these two songs as it goes from a loud to a soft song and then back again. It was also released as a single.
Some of the songs do across as filler and are not very strong. Tongue and Star 69 just don't do much for me.
While not all of the songs work here, I think they are all worth a listen just for how experimental they are when viewed alongside the rest of the bands work.