REM – Accelerate
In the decade since the departure of drummer Bill Berry, R.E.M. could seem at times schizophrenic. Their albums of the era, which veered from the experimentalism of Up and reaffirmation of Reveal to 2004′s more diffuse, reflective Around the Sun, often stood in stark contrast to the vibrancy of their live act.
But here the alt-rock godfathers have resolved that dichotomy with their most focused and satisfying album in over a decade; a collection that doesn’t so much revisit the bracing ethos of the band’s ’80s coming-of-age, as boil it down to its essence and supercharge it with the energy of their contemporary stage shows.
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