I was fortunate to pick this album up for cheap, and I haven't put it down since. I'm a huge fan of R.E.M., and I had high expectations of this highly acclaimed album... this just blew me away. This could very well be better than Automatic.
This is their longest cd yet, but with some of the most creative, and moving songs, the band has ever produced. The cd opener, How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us, is a moving, haunting piece that will grab your soul and pull you into this album...
...and then you get hit by the hard, rocking Wake Up Bomb! The tracks are so diversed that I'm sure there's at least one track here you're bound to love. New Test Leper and Be Mine are beautiful, slow songs that are great to relax and listen to, while Leave, Wake Up Bomb and So Fast, So Numb are heavier and hit you hard. There's so much diversity, and there's no real bad songs on this album.
The two singles, E-Bow The Letter and the closer, Electrolite, are the best songs on the cd. E-Bow has a haunting melody (aided by the talent of Patti Smiths vocals), while Electrolite is a great way to end the album (second to only Find The River on Automatic)
The competition for best R.E.M. cd is tight, but this is a good contender. My personal favourite is Reveal, but the quality of this cd blows it out of the water, really.
You have got to buy this cd.