So much for waiting! Ivana over on Mike Mills Tribute has provided me with the excellent news that Warner Bros. have made the new R.E.M. single Mine Smell Like Honey available for streaming, something which would have had the hardcore fans foaming at the mouth. However, I do say would - apparently the video was taken down shortly after it was released. Thankfully, a user ripped the audio from the video and has re-posted it online. So, without further ado, here it is:
My impression of the song? Unremarkable. The past three songs that have been released - Discoverer, It Happened Today and Oh My Heart - have been of a high standard, and I was really looking forward to this single. But, sadly, this is just another album-filler that competes with even the most bland of R.E.M. songs.
Michael's vocals sound a lot like they did on Reveal, with a possible slight compression/chorus effect that can be heard on such songs as Imitation of Life and All the Way to Reno. The only difference between its use on Reveal and this single is that, on the former, it works. The chorus that we heard on the trailer is perhaps the best part of the song, as everything before and after it just doesn't compete. The beginning of the track sounds something like a pop-punk record, before cutting to the pre-chorus:
Mine smell like honey, uh,
Mine smell like honey.
Wait a second... his what smell like honey? The addition of "uh" on the first line is a very Accelerate thing to do, and although it was beneficial (even a little 'cool'!) on that album it just doesn't work on a song like this. In fact, it has the opposite effect - the sound is nauseating and has some pretty sexually explicit implications. I'm sure I could explain further, but I think you get the gist.
Having said all that, the lyrics are fairly decent, and the chorus is still a redeeming quality. But like I said on Ivana's site, why on earth didn't they choose It Happened Today instead? That song is catchy as hell and miles better than the trite of Mine Smell Like Honey. I don't mean to be over-critical, but I was expecting bigger things from this track, which really just sounds like a bunch of loose ideas bundled into one song. And so, my rating:
Mine Smell Like Honey - ◊◊ - I might have put it on a par with Oh My Heart, if it weren't for the fact that my hopes for a great single have been crushed. A poor effort.
However, like I also said in my post on Mike Mills Tribute, we still have the rest of the album to go. I hope there'll be some gems hidden in amongst that tracklist... in fact, I'm sure of it. Bring it on!