R.E.M, "Collapse Into Now"

If R.E.M.'s 2008 album, "Accelerate," satisfied listeners who craved a return of the harder-rocking version of the group, then its newest release, "Collapse Into Now," will again please those fans. The set will also appeal to those who enjoyed the band's more acoustic and pastoral flavors as found on 1991's "Out of Time." As positive ("The good of this world might see me through," frontman Michael Stipe sings on "Oh My Heart") as it is poetic, "Collapse Into Now" rolls all of R.E.M.'s varied sonic adventures into a concentrated 41 minutes of mostly short, tight and fat-free songs. "Discoverer," "All the Best," "Mine Smell Like Honey," the galloping "That Someone Is You" and "Alligator Aviator Autopilot Antimatter" are bursts of punky fury. ("We'll show the kids how to do it," Stipe gleefully declares.) They sit comfortably amid the ringing atmospherics of "Überlin," "Oh My Heart" and "Every Day Is Yours to Win," as well as the album-ending tone poem "Blue." Patti Smith, Eddie Vedder, Peaches and Lenny Kaye are along for the ride, helping "Collapse Into Now" stand tall in R.E.M.'s richly diverse canon.

- Album Review


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