Murmur is the classic debut album. Sounding somewhat like the Byrds playing underwater with a singer who couldn't be bothered opening his mouth, the young Athens four piece proved that guitar music in the early '80s hadn't completely died a death. It's mysterious, catchy and completely unique. No record collection should be without it.
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10/10 gbar Customer review, 25th April 2017
Around the early 80s, rock music needed a jolt of energy, and in stepped four young men from Athens, Georgia to create an album that is regarded as one of the greatest and most significant debuts in music. Seen as an alternative to the standard rock, Murmur was stylistically very Byrds-y, a little bit of Dylan, the Who and George Harrison thrown in to create a new form of 'jangle rock' with a edge of post-punk, highlighted by Peter Buck's crisp, clean, and vibrant guitar lines and Michael Stipe's murmured vocals (no pun intended).
Each of these twelve songs on this record is both catchy and weird at the same time. Songs like "Pilgrimage" and "Sitting Still" has a perfect match of lyrics and music, while "Perfect Circle" is a slow yet melancholic ode to the most priceless thing in life: Friendship. Then there is of course "Radio Free Europe", the one that pretty much cemented their legacy as the godfathers of alternative rock. Murmur didn't need flashy instrumental breaks, flashy production, nor even any guest stars. The sound of the record was made so that no instrument stood out from one another, and that the sounds that each member made was equal. I think it's because of these reasons that Murmur as a whole is one of the purest journeys you'll ever travel through.
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