"Reckoning" is one of the top five R.E.M. albums in my opinion and probably my second favorite of the IRS years (behind "Document", and slightly edging out "Life's Rich Pageant").
Songs like "So. Central Rain", "Pretty Persuasion", and "(Don't Go Back) Rockville" are classics that you can listen to over and over.
While I am not one of those R.E.M. fans that only likes their early work, I do appreciate listening to the band play at a time when it was far less encumbered by the introspection and seriousness that have come with age. This album is a great one for getting a glimpse at that free-spirited, youthful time during the band's evolution to what it is today.
"Reckoning" is R.E.M's umpteenth great album but to those not familiar with R.E.M.'s early work, it may sound perhaps a bit unpolished and raw compared to the later albums released under the Warner Bros. label. Much like nascent cartoons or comics that look a bit different than they do in their later years, R.E.M.'s sound, though definitely still taking shape, is unmistakable.