It was Rolling Stone's Best Album of 1983, beating Michael Jackson's Thriller, The Police's Synchronicity and U2's War.
Murmur is the debut album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released in 1983 on I.R.S. Records. Murmur drew critical acclaim upon its release for its sound, defined by singer Michael Stipe's cryptic lyrics, guitarist Peter Buck's jangly guitar style, and bassist Mike Mills' melodic basslines.
Murmur's sound characterized the quieter, introverted side of the first wave of alternative rock in the United States. The sound was new at the time, though not stepping beyond the constructs of traditional rock music. The guitars have a bright, ring-like chime that brought on comparisons to The Byrds, and the bass guitar has the bright punchy sound of the Rickenbacker favored by Mike Mills. Mills carries much of the melodic element of the music on the bass, contributing to the moody sound of early R.E.M. albums. Also contributing to this sound is the distant singing of Michael Stipe whose obscure lyrics, sung indistinctly, lend to the mystery and depth of the music.