R.E.M.- Accelerate (Warner Bros.)

Featured — By on May 18, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Rock logoPeter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe hit the ground running on their most relevant album in fifteen years or so with “Living Well Is The Best Revenge”- possibly the rawest and punkiest they have sounded since Chronic Town back in ‘82 (Alternate descriptions: 1. It really puts the “rapid” back in rapid eye movement, 2. Accelerate indeed!). Things slow up to more traditional R.E.M. speed with the Monster-ous “Man-Sized Wreath” (Kinky gay sex reference or standard Stipe obtuseness? You make the call.) and the outstanding bubblegum-flavored single “Supernatural Superserious”, which features Mills’ trademark pitch-perfect background vocals on the chorus. Next up is “Hollow Man”, which is (thankfully) not a tribute to the Kevin Bacon movie of the same name. There are no stinkers here, people- just R.E.M. sounding like R.E.M….save for the oodles of distortion soaking most of the songs. One key exception to the pervading fuzz sound is the album’s masterpiece- “Until The Day Is Done”, wherein Stipe waxes state-of-the-union over Buck’s lovely acoustic with a Murmur-ed melody and declares that “the country’s in ruins.” It’s not the megadowner that it sounds like, though… so don’t fold your tent up just yet. The proceedings conclude (in a breezy thirty-six minutes, by the way- less is more where rock is concerned, kids) with “I’m Gonna DJ”, which happens to be the shiniest, happiest R.E.M. song of all time that won’t annoy the ever-loving s**t out of you. Oh yeah, and it rocks. In conclusion, Accelerate is more than just a verb- it’s the best album of 2008, thusfar. Godspeed, R.E.M. Now, if we could just get Bill Berry (and his eyebrows) back behind the drumkit…

RATING (1-10): 9

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply


Leave a Trackback