Document (10/15) - It has my all time favorite song on it (ITEOTWAWKIAIFF) but barely over half of this is good. It covers more sides of their sound than LRP, but all the songs after "The One I Love" are worthless filler crap!!! "Disturbance At The Heron House" isn't very good either. I wish the best of this (everything I didn't mention is good) and Green had been combined into one album.
Green (11/15) - No, *this* was the major label debut. And if you buy the vinyl, a translucent "4" appeared over the "R" in "GREEN." (Since there was a "5" on Document people thought there was some sort of countdown. I shit you not!!) A shame that you didn't like "Orange Crush" which has always been in my top 4 or 5 by this band, after "End Of The World As We Know It," "Laughing" and "Radio Free Europe." However the album itself plays a bit like LRP's kid brother. I'll always have a soft spot for it because of playing "Orange Crush" three million times in 1999 and it was my first R. E. M. CD purchase, but it's got..."Pop Song 89," "Get Up," "Stand," "The Wrong Child," "World Leader Pretend," "Orange Crush"...er, well, I guess I only really dislike "Hairshirt" and the hidden track. But picking up LRP when I did really killed a lot of my love for this album, and I maintain that R. E. M. really WOULD have been "America's Coolest Rock Band" if the best of this and the previous album had been combined.
Out Of Time (12.5/15) - A very sugary, strings-and-keys laden pop experiment to become superstars on. That's what puts a lot of people off it, and this album's reputation, IIRC, has been dwindling a bit since it came out (or at least since R. E. M. weren't superstars anymore.) "Radio Song" has an embarrassing KRS-1 rap, but the rest of the song is catchy. I always loved "Shiny Happy People" even though it's a retarded Pee Wee Playhouse of a song, and the band hates it too. But I love it. Every song, even filler like "Belong," sort of has something to offer. Hell, I adore "Endgame," a total filler instrumental--it's gorgeous!
Frigo string cheese tastes like racism. Eff that noise, bwana.