I see. It was easy to assume you were just being willfully contrary. Turns out you just haven't heard enough good stuff.
You really should listen to REM's first five albums and then decide where Monster should rank. Any REM message board would say the same. Actually, there's a good time-saving compilation I'd recommend: And I Feel Fine... The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982–1987
If you prefer poppy Elvis to rocking Elvis, maybe check out SPIKE. Overproduced, but interesting instrumentation and really good songs. The follow-up, MIGHTY LIKE A ROSE, has a similar production but the material isn't as good. His 3rd worst album, I think. You might love it.