- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Review: R.E.M. in fine form on ‘Collapse into Now’
R.E.M., “Collapse Into Now” (Warner Bros.)
The fifteenth studio album from R.E.M. finds the band at turns combative and mellow. The opening song, “Discoverer,” could have been a bonus track on “Accelerate.” It’s all hard-driving guitars and that classic Stipe growl.
With ten of the dozen tracks under four minutes, “All The Best” follows quickly with a challenge to the younger generation: “I think I’ll sing in a rhyme/I’ll give it one more time/I’ll show the kids how to do it fine, fine, fine.”
The album then hits its stride with a quartet of contemplative songs: “UBerlin,” “Oh My Heart,” “It Happened Today” and “Every Day is Yours to Win.” This is the R.E.M. mainstream audiences love. Stipe’s lyrics are sung poetry over the top of Peter Buck’s simple chords.
The biggest misfire is the final track, “Blue.” Patti Smith’s guest vocal is mostly lost amid Stipe’s monotone reading of a poem. Diehard R.E.M. fans may deconstruct it for meaning, but at more than five minutes it literally stops the momentum of an otherwise well-balanced album.
CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: “It Happened Today” features Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder backing up Stipe during the chorus before they together belt out a wordless harmony in a song that would be fun to see performed live. Alas, R.E.M. says they don’t plan to tour behind this album.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Paul takes veiled shot at Cruz, says GOP must focus on growth
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Obama engages in Ukraine diplomacy from Fla. resort as Russia digs in
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- EDITORIAL: As jobs vanish, Obama wants more of same
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again