Singer Michael Stipe, bassist Mike Mills and guitarist Peter Buck recorded the album with Lee at the Music Shed in New Orleans and in Berlin's Hansa Studios, the spot where U2's "Achtung Baby" and David Bowie's "Heroes" were created. Additional work was completed in Nashville.
The still-untitled album follows "Accelerate," which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in 2008, as well as the release of "R.E.M. Live at the Olympia" last October.