The Beast Inside

R.E.M.’s lead singer, Michael Stipe, recently announced that Inspiral Carpets’ The Beast Inside was his favorite new record — but I sure wonder what he likes about it. On the album, the trendy British ’60s-inspired band attempts to transmogrify itself into a deeply arty group, using simple musical tricks: They add eerie, synthesized whooshy wind noises and try Beethoven’s old trick of going from soft to loud real fast. The record begins with a few reasonably groovy songs, of which ”Born Yesterday” and ”Grip” are the best; the former even has — surprise! — a tune. Eventually, however, things degenerate into a form of music that can only be called progressive rock. But, unlike Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, bands whom the Carpets’ keyboard-heavy music passingly resembles, the Carpets aren’t particularly accomplished musicians. My advice? Buy Michael Stipe’s records, not his opinions. C+

The Beast Inside
  • Music