I haven’t been seeking out tracks from Accelerate online. On Monday, I shall buy a physical copy of the album, take it home and listen to it from start to finish, reverentially, examining the inlay card for hidden meanings. Because this is what an REM album deserves. Still.
I know there are those who don’t think so, as has been discussed on RR a few times. I guess we’re all agreed that everything up until Automatic For The People is pure gold. Since then, conventional wisdom says, it’s been downhill all the way. But anyone who’s given up on them is missing out on some real treats.
Monster is hard to love (there’s some filler, and somebody really should have told Pete Buck to switch that bloody e-bow off) but when it’s good (“Strange Currencies”, “Let Me In”) it’s very, very good. New Adventures In Hi-Fi is raw, overlong, intense and frequently brilliant. Up, after a slow start, is a classic. Reveal is a little too FM-radio-shiny, but has some wonderful songs. Only Around The Sun really disappoints, with too many of the songs simultaneously half-baked and over-cooked.
Anyway, here’s a post-Automatic playlist, which I reckon stands up to anything REM have ever done:
1. What’s The Frequency Kenneth?
2. How The West Was Won and Where It Got Us
4. Leaving New York
5. Strange Currencies
6. E-Bow The Letter
7. Walk Unafraid
8. Let Me In
9. I’ll Take The Rain
10. Falls To Climb
And there’s plenty more (“Leave”, “Electrolite”, “The Lifting”, “At My Most Beautiful” etc. etc.) where those came from.
Bring on Accelerate…