R.E.M. Detail New Album

Jan. 1, 2008
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Michael Stipe is making some tantalizing promises about the upcoming R.E.M. record: It’s going to be fast and guitar-driven.

Expectations, of course, are low. Over the last 10 years, R.E.M. records have been scattered at best, abysmal at worst. But there’s an obvious explanation for why those albums were so disappointing: They were studio pop records, and they ran contrary to the lean, direct guitar-rock that R.E.M. did best. In their prime, when R.E.M. stuck to simple, guitar-driven music, they were unbeatable. Apparently, we’ll see in April whether they can still conjure that old spark.

The details, according to NME:
* The album will be called Accelerate, which hopefully will hold Stipe to his promise to keep the tempos speedy.
* It was recorded with Jacknife Lee, a producer who has worked with Bloc Party (yay?) and Snow Patrol (uh-oh).
* Stipe half concedes that R.E.M.’s last album, Around The Sun, wasn’t very good. “I think the songs on 'Around The Sun' are great, but in the process of recording we lost our focus as a band,” he said. “Now, that focus is back.” Again, we shouldn’t get our hopes up too much, but in music, like in alcoholic’s anonymous, admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery.

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