R.E.M. - Collapse Into Now

2011-05-04 09:22
 
The fifteenth studio album from R.E.M. finds the band at turns combative and mellow. The opening song Discoverer could have been a bonus track on Accelerate. It's all hard-driving guitars and that classic Stipe growl.

With ten of the dozen tracks under four minutes, All The Best follows quickly with a challenge to the younger generation: "I think I'll sing in a rhyme/I'll give it one more time/I'll show the kids how to do it fine, fine, fine."

Listen to the FULL album here.


Watch the video for "Uberlin" here.

The album then hits its stride with a quartet of contemplative songs: UBerlin, Oh My Heart, It Happened Today and Every Day is Yours to Win. This is the R.E.M. mainstream audiences love. Stipe's lyrics are sung poetry over the top of Peter Buck's simple chords.

The biggest misfire is the final track, Blue. Patti Smith's guest vocal is mostly lost amid Stipe's monotone reading of a poem. Diehard R.E.M. fans may deconstruct it for meaning, but at more than five minutes it literally stops the momentum of an otherwise well-balanced album.


The R.E.M. fans know and love.

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galamatias 2011/05/20 11:31 AM
Although this is a very listenable album, one gets the sense, as with REM's last few outings, that it's very much REM-by-numbers. Very few of the songs stand out and claim your attention. Mostly, they sound like other REM songs that were done better, with lyrics and singing that sounded interested and committed not contractually obligated. As an album this one belongs with MONSTER or REVEAL as "good" but not "great. Not the kind of music that made them worldbeaters, more like workmanlike middle-aged consistency.
galamatias 2011/05/20 11:31 AM
Although this is a very listenable album, one gets the sense, as with REM's last few outings, that it's very much REM-by-numbers. Very few of the songs stand out and claim your attention. Mostly, they sound like other REM songs that were done better, with lyrics and singing that sounded interested and committed not contractually obligated. As an album this one belongs with MONSTER or REVEAL as "good" but not "great. Not the kind of music that made them worldbeaters, more like workmanlike middle-aged consistency.
galamatias 2011/05/20 11:31 AM
Although this is a very listenable album, one gets the sense, as with REM's last few outings, that it's very much REM-by-numbers. Very few of the songs stand out and claim your attention. Mostly, they sound like other REM songs that were done better, with lyrics and singing that sounded interested and committed not contractually obligated. As an album this one belongs with MONSTER or REVEAL as "good" but not "great. Not the kind of music that made them worldbeaters, more like workmanlike middle-aged consistency.
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