R.E.M. – Accelerate

April 1, 2008

After three albums in a row that have drawn very mixed reactions from audiences, R.E.M. has released Accelerate, a 35 minute set of 11 songs, mostly in a full on rock mode. And it’s good stuff, very good stuff, the most consistently enjoyable R.E.M. album since Automatic For The People. The tracks I didn’t like as much were the slower tempo ones, as the rock material seems to work best here, but I don’t think I’d say there are any flat out bad songs on Accelerate. I was caught up in the album as soon as the opening notes of “Living Well Is The Best Revenge” sounded: It’s a song that reminds me of the sort of impassioned, fiery music on Document. Whether listeners will see Accelerate as a return to form, or a return to their roots, or however they end up characterizing it, I think what’s essentially true is that this is a inspired, very good R.E.M. album, the first in a long time where I wanted to hear the whole thing over again, instead of a selected few tracks. Standout cuts: “Living Well Is The Best Revenge,” “Supernatural Superserious,” “Hollow Man” and “Horse To Water.”



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