I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!
These may or may not be newly released disks. They might not even be a good disk - just what is been in heavy rotation in my car (as usually the iPod is playing anywhere else).
Yeah - I'm a few months behind on this release. I bought it day one, but just never got around to writing about it.
Hailed even pre-release as a return to R.E.M.'s roots, and the press laid so much credence in this thought - it would kind of be hard to live up to.
The result - they do and they don't.
Is Accelerate the new Fables of the Reconstruction? No. But I didn't expect it to be. But on the upside, it's also not one of their last two or three releases either. While those were not horrid, they were just there and not horribly well thought out.
I enjoyed Accelerate - more than any disk since Automatic for the People - but that is not to compare those two disks. The new release has much much much more guitar - much more of a core band feel. It is a welcome retro feel, but it is not 1980 - make no mistake.
I really enjoy the first four songs - especially "Hallow Man" and "Supernatural Superserious". Michael Stipe's vocal abilities haven't changed too much over the years, but what I never hear anyone go on about is how much Mike Mills' harmonies really help make the band. I've always been a fan of Peter Buck's guitar playing.
Accelerate isn't as fun as Document, Reckoning or Murmur - but it's not meant to be. Of course, I just might be stuck in my own nostalgia. But Accelerate takes the energy of the old R.E.M. and sticks them in the present.