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


Sep 25, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Reveal marks R.E.M.‘s entrance into the 2000s. The ‘90s brought the band unprecedented growth and success on the back of their trio of esteemed albums, Out of Time, Automatic for the People, and Monster, but as the decade wound down, the band found itself exploring more experimental fare and branching out to newer textures.

By the end of the 2000s, R.E.M. had returned to more of a rock band ethos, but Reveal finds the band at its most nuanced best.

“I’ve Been High” features electronic beats and ethereal backing instrumentation over lyrically introspective wonder, Michael Stipe singing, “I’ve been high/I’ve climbed so high/But life sometimes it washes over me.”

The country lilt of “All the Way to Reno (You’re Gonna Be a Star)” leads into the acoustic beginnings and cinematic conclusion of “She Just Wants to Be” and the subtle strings and gothic textures of “Disappear.”

“Summer Turns to High” has the most Beach Boys-esque chorus ever put to an R.E.M song. And “Imitation of Life” might be the best pop song the band has ever written.

“I’ll Take the Rain” is one of the most affecting song the band has ever penned, finally leading into the album’s conclusion with the uplifting, horn-filled and lounge-y “Beachball,” which features the lyric, “This life is sweet/We’re dancing in the street/Who knows who you might meet?/You’ll do fine.”

The lyrics throughout are a study in introspection, philosophy, and life lesson, complemented perfectly by the various instrumental backdrops provided by Peter Buck and Mike Mills (no drummer is listed in the liner notes as part of the band proper for this release).

Reveal is everything latter-day R.E.M. has come to mean, bridging decades while continuing to invent. (www.remhq.com) (www.craftrecordings.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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