Sunday, April 13, 2008
The Frequency, Kenneth: REM Rocks Again
5 teaspoons of Bosco
(Out of 5)
Reviewed by Allen Bacon
It's been over eleven years since Bill Berry amicably left REM. In those ten years, the remaining threesome have stumbled in the wilderness of mediocrity. That all ended a few weeks ago with the release of REM's fourteenth album, Accelerate.
From the opening strands of the first song, Living Well Is the Best Revenge, REM rocks and they rock hard...a far cry from the boring and bland last album Around the Sun. In fact this is not only their best in the Post-Berry era...it is their best since the salad days of Green and Out of Time of the early 90's. It is as if Buck, Stipes, and Mills set out to show why they belong in the rock and roll hall of fame.
This album is mean and lean...and in your face...and that's a good thing. They abide by the unwritten rule of pop by keeping each of the eleven new songs under four minutes. Just when the music threatens to slip into the area of tediousness as in Until the Day Is Done they rock right back with Mr. Richards.
The musicianship is tighter than the three have ever done and Michael Stipes voice is as strong as ever. Mix that in with some well-written lyrics and the hard driving rock produced by the talented JackKnife Lee and you just may have the rock album of the year.