Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Album Review: R.E.M.'s Accelerate

It might be overly sentimental to say that bands I have listened to for a long time are somewhat akin to old friends. R.E.M. is certainly a band I would put in this category. I have written before about how they are one of my Musical Touch Points. So it was with great anticipation that I started listening to REM’s newest album (their 14th), Accelerate. It was definitely a, “R.E.M.—Holy Sh*t—Welcome Back” moment because as with some old friends R.E.M. and I had drifted apart. Their recent music wasn’t really speaking to me. But from the first notes of the opening track, “Living Well Is The Best Revenge” you now that R.E.M. is on and I was welcoming back an old friend—remembering why I loved them so much in the first place.

Accelerate is definitely an apt title. It seems like during the four years between their most recent albums it was time to put the rock and roll gas pedal to the floor and create a truly great record. While I totally dig the whole record, a few standout tracks include “Houston” a beautiful song about Hurricane Katrina, "Hollow Man," and “Accelerate.” But the closing track, “I’m Gonna DJ” says it best, “music will provide the light / you cannot resist / you cannot resist / you cannot resist, yeah.”

Check out R.E.M. live from the SXSW festival.


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