SYNDICATE
Posted by: Dave on April 8, 2008 at 9:41 am

REMAccelerateSound: After three albums where synthesizers and drum machines were prominently used, R.E.M brings back the guitars in a big way on Accelerate. This is the most urgent album they’ve made in over a decade. They revisit the dissonant indie rock of 1985’s Fables of the Reconstruction, the scrappy aggression of 1986’s Life Rich Pageant, the mainstream-friendly arena rock of 1988’s Green, and the jangly ballads of 1991’s Out of Time and 1992’s Automatic of the People.
Heavy Rotation track: “Accelerate”
Medium Rotation tracks: “Man-Sized Wreath”; “Hollow Man”; “Mr. Richards”
Recommended: It’s good to know that R.E.M. can rock like they did in their heyday, but it sure sounds like they’re trying to prove to themselves and their fans that they’ve still got the chops. For a band that always reinvented itself with every album (even if lately the new sounds weren’t up to their standard), Accelerate is a disappointment. Instead of blazing any new territory, they rehash a wide variety of classic R.E.M. flavors. The results are modest and there are very few tracks on here that are superior to their similar-sounding predecessors. R.E.M.’s first 11 albums established them as one of the greatest, most original and most popular bands of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Since then, they’ve been slowly tarnishing their legacy. Accelerate doesn’t damage their reputation, but it doesn’t advance the excellence of their canon, either.
Grade: B

Listen to Tracks/Buy Music:
On iTunes
On amazon.com



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