Love Songs, Nothing But Love Songs

Oh hi! Stipe once described ‘Out of Time’ as “love songs, nothing but love songs”. Later on he said ‘Losing My Religion’ was a love song, but an obsessive one. I used to think ‘Be Mine’ was a pretty love song but again Stipe said it was a kind of creepy one. ‘The One I Love’ is also widely misinterpreted. It seems like their love songs aren’t what they seem.

Are there any real R.E.M. love songs? I think ‘At My Most Beautiful’ must be, and I think ‘We All Go Back To Where We Belong’ is a love song too.



“You Are the Everything” though I don’t think it’s referring to romantic love. I believe Stipe has said it was inspired by his love for his Grandmother.


I have no idea but it’s a beautiful thought :heart::heart::slightly_smiling_face::rooster::rooster:

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Strange Currencies I would say, I don’t know if the song is obsessive & creepy love , I hear it as desperate & to the point of tipping over the edge over love.

Also, You’re in the Air It’s beautiful.


Strange Currencies is sinister love. It’s about stalker basically.

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I don’t know, I could be naïve, I’ve never been stalked.


“At my most beautiful” is indeed a love song and a really nice one at that, lyrically, with attention to detail and a probably original narrative in a world infested by cheap and vulgar “I love yous” of all kinds. The narrator is noticing small things he’s in love with, but being delicate and considerate about them, not obsessing.

“Be mine” has verses that could be interpreted as deeply romantic, of course, but when paired with the others, you see that depth goes down to dangerous levels, because the narrator is clearly extrapolating what would be reasonable. You start with an imperative – be mine! – and end up with stuff like “I want the finger with the ring” and wanting to become the other person’s religion, and pretty much “I want to be the everytjing in your life and nothing else comes in. Breathe me, worship me, see only me, me, me”.

“The one I love” is clearly ironic. You don’t love someone you call a prop to occupy your time.

I think “Strange currencies” is not much of a “love song”, but it’s a song about love – unrequited love, like “Losing my religion” also. The dude is desperate to be noticed and liked by the other person, who is mean to him, and he considers himself a fool for feeling all that (who hasn’t?), but he’s determined to have that other person “whatever it takes”, for some reason (again, haven’t we all been there?).

And I’m not at all into “You are the everything”, so I’ll skip that one here.

I haven’t investigated some other songs to get to know if Michael was being really romantic in his lyrics, but maybe I should!

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Haha, I wasn’t drawing from experience, Michael said it in interviews :sweat_smile: .

I did get stalked once though and can confirm that in real life, it’s much less melodic.

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He could have said that in an interview, I read somewhere that he was aiming for a Whitney Houston kind of power ballad. I don’t hear the character in Strange Currencies being a stalker as such, but kind of a weirdo who’s in love ‘You know with love comes strange currencies:’…" says it all to me.
It has a beautiful melody. I love the song. And the lyrics, I don’t think Michael has been obvious as say, Every Breath You Take - Police

Short but sweet, “I’m Not Over You.”


It’s great and a breath of fresh air that Michael didn’t set to write love songs, but songs concerning love in various aspects.


I’ll Take The Rain. It’s a very grown up love song but so beautiful. Sticking it out through bad times. Putting up with what stretches you out to the limit of your strength because you love someone that much.