Does Mike Mills get his deserved levels of props? I mean, Michael Stipe is Michael Stipe. Peter Buck has always given great interview, and his solo work has gotten acclaim over the years. Bill Berry has always been the quiet one, and is also the hunk of the group (OK, that might just be my opinion). But Mike Mills is the dude who appeared to be the most unassuming member of R.E.M. He rocked the Brian Bonsall bowl cut way past its sell by date. He had sensible glasses. His Nudie-suit wearing transformation during the Monster era felt more like a midlife crisis than a rock star indulgence, you know?
But his rock solid bass playing held the band down. It made “Stand” and “Shiny Happy People” danceable, helped “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?” and “Turn You Inside Out” rock hard. And he also was the harmony vocals guy. That schoolboy pure voice (on the choruses and the bridge) is what transforms “Fall On Me” from a really good R.E.M. song to one of the five best songs the band ever made.
Mike Mills, take a bow.