REM, Accelerate (Warners)

 |   |  <1 min read

REM: Mr Richards
REM, Accelerate (Warners)

Yes, REM are a Very Big Band Indeed and so you will doubtless be reading reviews of this in many other places -- but the reason it also gets a showing at Elsewhere where they keep company with rather more obscure artists is because I have faithfully bought every REM album in the past decade and have been mostly disappointed.

But Accelerate vindicates the faith.

The criticisms of it are going to be the most obvious -- that it succeeds because it conjures up some of the more illustrious moments of their 80s peaks. But rather that than "hope you like our new direction" which would just have seemed desperate this late in their career.

What is here however is abrasive and energised in places, poetic in others, poppy in parts. Singer Stipe sounds like a man more happy in a world when he has something to kick against -- and of course the current political climate (even worse than the era under which they emerged) provides plenty of sources for seething rage.

But here too is understated menace (and yes, wit and self-referencing too) of the kind we haven't heard from them for quite a while.

So Elsewhere just wants to confirm what you might start reading elsewhere in the next fortnight or so. Old fans could come back with confidence and those like me who might have been a bit ho-hmmm this late in the story might want to check it out.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Buffalo Tom: Three Easy Pieces (New West/Elite)

Buffalo Tom: Three Easy Pieces (New West/Elite)

I well remember one night at dusk, somewhere in the American mid-west, driving a long and empty road as Buffalo Tom's melancholy classic Tail Lights Fade to Black came on the radio. I lifted my... > Read more

Karen Elson: The Ghost Who Walks (XL)

Karen Elson: The Ghost Who Walks (XL)

As you may already know, Karen Elson from England comes with a number of black marks against her on this debut album: she was a model (and no one takes them seriously, huh?) and her husband is Jack... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Andy Sugg

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Andy Sugg

Saxophonist Andy Sugg is Melbourne-based and touring regularly across Australia and to Europe and the US. But he hasn't made it to New Zealand . . . yet. In April he brings his band here to... > Read more

TONGAN NINJA a film by JASON STUTTER (DVD, 2004): And his name shall live forever, or at least for quite a while

TONGAN NINJA a film by JASON STUTTER (DVD, 2004): And his name shall live forever, or at least for quite a while

The legend of the Tongan ninja is so legendary that most people know it. But for those who missed it -- possibly in the shower when it came knocking -- it goes like this: young Tongan boy Sione is... > Read more