Michael Stipe calls this his "Leonard Cohen copy," due to his unusually dark vocal range and cynical lyrics. In 1991 R.E.M. covered Cohen's hit "First We Take Manhattan" for his tribute album I'm Your Fan.
While this is the only song on Monster where a computer was used, the drum part was actually played by a "real" instrument and not by a drum machine, like it appears to be.
Suggestion credit: Martin - Rostock, Germany, for above 2
"Sloop John B" is a traditional West Indian folk song, and it was a huge hit for The Beach Boys in 1966. They tweaked the lyric, "This is the worst trip since I've been born" to "...I've ever been on" as a wink to acid culture.