39. R.E.M., "At My Most Beautiful"
R.E.M. pay their respects to Brian Wilson in this Pet
Sounds–style piano ballad, the most unironic, untortured, unashamed love
song they'd ever done. Michael Stipe lingers awake at night to count his
sleeping bedmate's eyelashes, reading bad poetry into his lover's answering
machine (a very 1998 thing to do), while Mike Mills holds court at the piano.
It was a highlight of Up, R.E.M.'s fifth straight masterwork of the
Nineties – one of the greatest decades any band's ever had. (Their next one,
2001's Reveal, was on the same level.) "At My Most Beautiful"
also sounded great on the soundtrack of the Drew Barrymore flick Never Been