Sunday, July 08, 2007

R.E.M. Lives???

Yeah, I know, every album since 1996's New Adventures In Hi-Fi has been hailed as the "comeback" album promising a return to the glory days... yet, let's face it, pretty much everything they've done since Bill Berry left the band has been rather weak. Yeah, sure, a couple decent tunes on each of the last three albums, and nothing all that offensive, but "largely inoffensive" is a bit off for the band that produced the best music of the 1980's, bar none.

So it's with some trepidation that I note -- and feel free to ping me for this if I turn out to be wrong -- that the new tunes they're working up for the next album are... well, kinda good. Like, actually rocking, tuneful, even downright garage-y. Sure, I'm basing this on previews I've heard of their recent run of rehearsal shows in Dublin, where they ran through a dozen works-in-progress (and, even more astoundingly, rounded out the sets with tunes drawn from their debut EP Chronic Town -- not exactly a mainstay of the band's shows for the past two decades). BitTorrent-types can download some of the Dublin shows from various sites; plus, my favorite music blogger, I Am Fuel, has one of the shows posted in mp3 format -- check it out now.

[Not sure when the album is due out; check the official site for updates. And, hey, even if the album ends up as watered-down as the last one, the live document is worth having.]


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