Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Supernatural Superserious

Song: Supernatural Superserious
Artist: R.E.M.
Album: Accelerate

It’s been roughly ten years since the beginning of my R.E.M. depression. The day they released their 11th album “Up” was the beginning of the end, as a band I never hesitated to call my favorite started a decline. It continued with the better but still lackluster “Reveal” in 2001, and then in 2004 they did something they have never done, they released a truly awful album, “Around the Sun.” What on earth had happened?

Okay… I’m being a little dramatic. While “Up” and “Reveal” aren’t completely terrible, they just certainly where not what I had come to expect from R.E.M., given that since I started listening to the band, every record they released was stylistically different and well… kind of amazing. Much has been written about this, and mostly the decline in quality has been attributed to the departure of drummer and founding member Bill Berry. His last record with the band, the seemingly tossed off “New Adventures in Hi-Fi” in retrospect is quite good… comparative to the last three records.

April 1st will see the release of the bands 14th album “Accelerate.” Last July the band did a five-night residence in Dublin where they “practiced” new songs and played older songs while putting the record together. I got to listen to one of these shows and the band has taken a much more rock direction with the new material… and seem to acknowledge this with the title of their new record. Not since “Monster” has the band made such an effort to rock.

While my overwhelming interest and devotion to R.E.M. has faded a bit over the last ten years, I certainly have gotten enough joy from the band to take each new record in stride, and give it the chance a true fan should. So I am actually pretty excited about “Accelerate” and hope it’s, well… pretty great. I’ve had a few days to live with the first single from the album “Supernatural Superserious” and like it. It’s hard rocking yet pop-y, and love hearing Michael wail in the chorus with Mike Mills harmonizing in the background. I’m not sure if I love it… but am really digging the guitar riff that serves as the hook, and again love that chorus.

What do you think… and does anyone even care about R.E.M. anymore?


Best moments from the last ten years…


The Great Beyond

Imitation of Life

Actually, this video is quite amazing… it’s one wide shot, twenty second take, that goes forward then backwards in a loop and is repeated for the duration of the song. For the video the frame is then zoomed in, panned, etc. to catch the right bits at the right time. It’s quite astonishing. (and should really be seen in better quality.)

1 comment:

Lizzy said...

I care. And I dig this song. A lot. For now at least.