R.E.M. could do no wrong. Even their bad stuff wasn't very bad. And it certainly wasn't cringe-inducing.
A while back, someone mentioned the time the band went off the rails and could pinpoint it to 1991's "Shiny Happy People". Sure they brought in Kate Pierson from the B-52's. Sure it was bouncy. Sure it was everything that Michael Stipe is not. But it never made me cringe.
That song is not the worst thing out there, let alone from the band. Yet, it's not at the top of its craft either.
I can take that cringe factor of REM back a few years from that example to 1988 with "Stand" from the album Green.
Just annoying as fuck. Especially when it the next song in sequence was arguably one of their best songs ever, "World Leader Pretend".
The official video for "Stand" is just as cringe-inducing, so I won't show it. I'll do a similar one, but done with LEGO.