Greatest Song At The Moment - R.E.M.'s "Me In Honey"

Dedicated to those songs that I can't stop playing, humming, or thinking about; the 4+ minutes you fall head-over-heels in love with. Past instances have included Weezer's "El Scorcho," Ronnie & The Daytona's "Little G.T.O.", and Tender Box's "Spectacular Spider-man Theme."

Natural and calculated. Grown and engineered. Rough and beautiful. Magnificent and elegant. "Me In Honey" is the direct descendant of "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" by way of acoustic college rock, and it's the uncle of "It's True That We Love One Another" along with all of the other album finales for the White Stripes. It's a riff over a sing-a-long over a foot stomp and it represents the first big smile while listening to "Out of Time." Sure, you might enjoy "Radio Song" or "Near Wild Heaven" or any of the tunes prior, but this tune brings out the same kind of joy you get from catching your favorite scenes from "A Christmas Story." It's the "Out of Time" version of flipping the channel and realizing Ralphie's decoding the Little Orphan Annie message--you know how every thing's gonna turn out, and that's why you want it so much.

The song gets stuck in your brain not by listening to it, but by recalling it while listening to it. As it repeats through my headphones, I'm four steps ahead of it, running the best moments before they happen because they already HAVE happened. The song is primal in that way, but in a self-made primality (possible new word invented).

For Example: The song starts with that Kate Pearson moan, which will later haunt some of the more beautiful portions of the song. But when we hear it the first time, we're just getting used to the song and we didn't even recognize it entirely as the forthcoming greatness. What ties this moan to the repeatability of the song is that after we've heard the song all the way through once or twice, we focus on the LAST moan that goes into an upper register. The song really nests in our brains by using our memories against us (or for us, I suppose), because on repeat listens, we all remember how wonderfully the moans cap off the song, but the moans are denied throughout the repeat listens.

I'm not being clear. Look at it this way: we love the way that moan goes in the end, but it only really goes that way at the very beginning and the end. But when the first half of the moan happens in the middle, my brain keeps the moan going into the upper register. This is where our brains--and let's not mince words here; I keep writing 'your' brain and 'the' brain. This is my brain we're talking about--This is where MY brain really gets hung up and tries to "solve" the song. When those moments get replayed, my brain recognizes it as incomplete and tries to complete things. The only way to complete it is to replay the entire song. And I do this gladly.

And I'm not the only one whose brain gets ahead of themselves. At 53 seconds, Bill Berry does the first extra kick drum bit at the right time right before the "chorus," and again at 1:30. But at 2:15 seconds he does the drum bit at the "wrong" time. It's in the right beat, but it's five seconds before it's "supposed" to come. Some may argue this was done intentionally to shake things up, but I like to think that Berry's brain works like mine, aneurism notwithstanding. His head got ahead of the song because he, in short, wanted to get to the good stuff. Just like my own brain. And once I've been denied the good stuff (a.k.a. the time when the song is not playing), my brain fixates on the best portions of the song to recall the good stuff. The best plan of action for this condition is repeated ingesting of this good stuff, and then you get essays like the one you've just enjoyed.

Greatest Song At The Moment - R.E.M.'s "Me In Honey"