Hear This: The Replacements were all shook down on “Merry Go Round”

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week, we’re talking about the songs we hate by bands we love.

The Replacements, “Merry Go Round,” 1990

If we were to graph the level of how much The Replacements rocked per album, we would find a straight line peaking with the 1981 debut Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash, then heading steadily downward at a 45-degree angle until the band’s egregious final release, 1990’s All Shook Down. While the Minneapolis quartet expertly straddled the pop/punk line, songwriter Paul Westerberg always slipped some extra vulnerability and emotion in somewhere. Most of the time, these odes offered a welcome break from punk tantrums like “Gary’s Got A Boner,” and added a deeper, thoughtful level to Replacements releases. Even a record as bombastic as Hootenanny contained Westerberg’s heartfelt …

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