on April 14, 2011
I'm a long-time R.E.M. fan, having bought "Murmur" back in 1983 - one of their classic early records. I've since acquired all of their albums, with the exception of 2004's "Around the Sun". Their latest release is a solid, if unoriginal effort that sounds somewhat like 90's-era R.E.M. ("Out of Time"/"Automatic For the People") but without the sense that they are breaking new ground. Still, there are three standout tracks: "All the Best" - a near-perfect up-tempo rocker, the lovely, piano-based "Walk it Back" with singer Michael Stipe at his best, and "Alligator, Aviator, Autopilot, Antimatter", a loose, fun, punk-rocker. Overall, "Collapse" echoes many of R.E.M.'s previous releases, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just that after roaring back to form with 2008's "Accelerate" (containing the classic "Hollow Man"), this latest work is a bit of a let-down.
on March 25, 2011
R.E.M has had an unsettled and disjointed last 15 years, but it seems that with this new album, in addition to their previous album Accelerate, they are finding their water is settling. They are not recreating Reckoning or Life's Rich Pageant (nor should they), but this album has the same honesty, purity and heart of those classic albums. I myself am guilty of this as I have been a fan since Murmer-this a natural curse with any band that has a 30 plus year career. Here R.E.M. seem to be having a lot of fun, and deciding not to tour has likely taken a considerable amount of pressure off of them. In the meantime, I will spin this album and enjoy listening to a band that continues to age well. Good to see and hear the band creating such great music!