R.E.M. Rocks Hard On New 'Accelerate'
After two consecutive albums dominated by mid-tempo fare, R.E.M. gets back to its stripped-down, fast-paced rock roots on "Accelerate," due April 1 via Warner Bros. The 11-track set, which gets in andAfter two consecutive albums dominated by mid-tempo fare, R.E.M. gets back to its stripped-down, fast-paced rock roots on "Accelerate," due April 1 via Warner Bros. The 11-track set, which gets in and out in a lightning-quick 34 minutes and change, is led by the single "Supernatural Superserious."
Opener "Living Well's the Best Revenge" sets the tone, with a prominent lead guitar figure from Peter Buck, thumping, melodic bass lines and backing vocals from Mike Mills and a rapid stream of lyrics from frontman Michael Stipe. The track almost seems like a musical cousin to "Just a Touch" from 1986's "Life's Rich Pageant."
The up-tempo approach extends to "Supernatural Superserious," a video for which was shot earlier this week on Manhattan's Lower East Side. "You realize your fantasies are dressed up in travesties / enjoy yourself with no regrets," Stipe instructs on the track, which should hit radio sometime next month.
Elsewhere, "Hollow Man" begins as a piano ballad but quickly morphs into a revved-up chorus, while "Horse To Water" is a noisy, angular rocker with the unmistakable stamp of R.E.M.'s pre-major label days.
Among the slower departures are "Houston," which is vaguely reminiscent of the vintage "Swan Swan H," and the politically charged "Until the Day Is Done" ("The verdict is dire / the country's in ruins," Stipe sings).
A number of the "Accelerate" tracks were premiered last summer during "working rehearsal" shows in Dublin. The album was produced by Jacknife Lee, best known for his work with Snow Patrol and U2.
Here is the track list for "Accelerate":
"Living Well's the Best Revenge"
"Until the Day Is Done"
"Sing for the Submarine"
"Horse To Water"
"I'm Gonna DJ"