R.E.M.: Accelerate (2023 Vinyl Reissue) (Craft) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Accelerate (2023 Vinyl Reissue)


Sep 26, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

After the nuanced and relatively somber nature of R.E.M.‘s early 2000s, the band comes out with a bang on its penultimate album, 2008’s Accelerate.

R.E.M.‘s previous two albums, 2001’s Reveal and 2004’s Around the Sun, were varied and relatively calm affairs that sometimes required multiple listenings to demonstrate their genuis. Accelerate hits you over the head with a hammer.

“Man-Sized Wreath” is all snark and disgust, featuring the quotable line, “Nature abhors a vacuum, but what’s between your ears?” “Supernatural Superserious” is pop rock at its best, with driving tempo, singable melodies, and the inimitable background vocals by Mike Mills. “Accelerate” finds Michael Stipe searching for an escape over what often sounds like a wall of noise. “Until the Day is Done” is bitter societal commentary, with the printed lyrics prefaced by Sinclair Lewis and William Burroughs quotes, and Peter Buck’s guitars threaten to overwhelm on “Sing for the Submarine” and “Horse to Water.”

In a hair over 34 minutes, it’s all over, a statement made. Excepting the relatively silly “I’m Gonna DJ,” which ends the album on something of a sour note, Accelerate sits right with the best of latter-day R.E.M. albums. (www.remhq.com) (www.craftrecordings.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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