Back at the height of my R.E.M. days the mid-90s, Fables of the Reconstruction was my favorite of the group’s records from the IRS Records era. I hadn”t listened to it in years and now I suddenly remember why I loved it so much.
It’s mid-tempo and melodic, with a "sparkling" production value that’s professional but not too slick. And the songs themselves are compellingly well written, though Green Grow the Rushes is a bit of a downer. Making up for it though are Driver 8 and Can’t Get There From Here, which practically rock well, as much as R.E.M. could before Monster.
Interesting side note: The album artwork implies that the title of the record could also be Reconstruction of the Fables and is to designed to create an infinite loop: Fables of the Reconstruction of Fables of the Reconstruction of the… and so on.
A video for you: Driver 8 and Can’t Get There From Here, live on Tyne Tees The Tube TV show (circa 1985). Check out Micheal Stipes’ hair!