Album: Automatic For The People
. . .
File Under Sometimes
R.E.M. may have written a more straightforward and sincere song in the R.E.M. but outside of possibly “World Leader Pretend,” I can’t think of one that has fewer levels of irony or metaphor than “Everybody Hurts.” It’s all right there on the page: everybody hurts, sometimes. So hold on.
Which, of course, in the irony-drenched early 1990s, might have a bit of a hard sell, but with its slow-burn to big build Stax arrangement and utter sincerity, “Everybody Hurts” kinda cut through, which is probably why there wasn’t as much of a backlash to it as what Space Ghost called “that shiny shiny people song.”