- Audio CD (4 Oct. 2004)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: WARNER BROS
- ASIN: B0002XV2KC
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,346 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Around The Sun (Int'l Jewelcase)
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Around the Sun is REM's first studio album since the acclaimed platinum Reveal in 2001. This eagerly anticipated album follows the success of last year's multi-platinum greatest hits collection, In Time: The Best of REM 1988-2003.
Around the Sun, REM's 13th album, was written by REM and produced by REM and Pat McCarthy. It features the evocative new single "Leaving New York" and 12 other new songs including the enigmatic, "The Outsiders", "Wanderlust" with its infectious chorus, and the epic tale of "Boy in the Well".
Remember that favourite uncle who used to keep you entertained as a kid? Then one day you met up again and you realised he wasn't half as cool as you thought he was. With their latest offering, Around The Sun, REM have become that uncle.
Listening to Michael Stipe's soothing rhetoric is rather like popping on a pair of your favourite slippers. But as the last track of this, their thirteenth album, fades out, you can't help feeling disappointed, not to mention depressed. Stipe has made no secret about his opposition to George Bush and the war in Iraq and Around The Sun reflects his sombre mood.
Getting away from it all is a recurring theme. New single "Leaving New York" finds REM at their blissful, jangly best as Stipe considers escaping his beloved city after seeing "the light fading out", while "High Speed Train" takes him to a place where there's "No war. No hate. No past."
Lyrically they can't be faulted, but the departure of drummer Bill Berry has hit the band hard over the last two albums. This is the man, after all, who wrote the melody to "Everybody Hurts". You won't find a "Losing My Religion" or a "Orange Crush" here. But there a few great songs, enough to pour scorn on suggestions the band are a spent force.
The excellent "Wanderlust", one of the few upbeat numbers, sees REM do Britpop - albeit 10 years too late - and once you've heard "Electron Blue", the chorus will be spinnng around your head for days. There's even another dabble in hip hop, 13 years after KRS-One's appearance on "Radio Song", as Q-Tip collaborates on "The Outsiders", reminding you just how good A Tribe Called Quest were.
The trouble is, there's too many songs that float around without actually going anywhere. By the time you've thought about what you're going to have for dinner, three tracks have flown by without you realising. If Peter Buck listened to this on an aeroplane, he'd drift off to sleep. --Chris Charles
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Top Customer Reviews
The 13th studio album, Around The Sun is such an album. Upon first buying it back in October 2004, I found it difficult to listen to the first time I played it. Then the second time. Then the third time, and so on. I consider this to be a good thing, as the listener is ultimately rewarded with repeated listens and the songs become more cohesive when given the patience and time they deserve.
I think it's only fair that R.E.M. are accurately represented here, because if you believe some circles, Around The Sun is a disappointing album. These 'untruths' are usually associated with record sales in America. If Around The Sun would've shifted 3 million copies in the United States, they'd be the media darlings of the press and certain British music magazines would be fawning over them again, like they did when it was 'cool' to like R.E.M. As it is, Around The Sun sold approximately 75 copies in the U.S. and because of the lukewarm reception, some of the U.K. music press gave the album a kicking, offering up meagre ratings, or average reviews at best.
Where are all the R.E.M. sycophants now? Having leeched the band for every available inch of column space during 1991-1992, they've long since switched their fawnings to the 'next big things'. Good riddance to them. It'll be interesting to read this review again in 10 years, when Coldplay's star has long since faded and the music press are giving Chris Martin a kicking for being an over the hill angst ridden thirty-something who hasn't released a decent album since 2002.Read more ›
This is not a rock album and most of the songs seemed to reflect personal angst of failed relationships. However, the musical arrangements and lyrics perfectly complement each other. The string arrangements on the Outsiders is quite simply amazing. The more I listen to this album the more I like it. I would even rate it at least as good as Automatic for the People and possibly better. To get the best out of the album it needs to be listened to in a quiet environment or with headphones.
Around the Sun is the type of album that becomes something like an old friend. You put it on when you want to hear something you know and trust and just want to chill out.
People seem compelled to make comparisons "It`s not as good as Automatic for the People!" or even "It`s their best since Automatic for the People!". If I want to hear Automatic for the People, I go put it on. People complain that REM have lost the punky, college-radio, folksy, alt.rock edge of the IRS years. If I want to hear that - I go put on Lifes Rich Pageant or Document.
REM down the years have provided us with an embarrassment of riches, and the widest variety of sounds of any major band I can think of. The point that a lot of people seem to miss is that REM have been on a journey since day one, since Chronic Town, since that gig in that church in Athens. Each new album is a further step along their way - but each album follows on logically from the one before.
They have never tried to forcibly change themselves (Apart from maybe with Monster), yet they have never allowed themselves to stand still. If you listen to the albums consecutively - each album actually sounds a lot like the one before (Again, apart from Monster. Monster was a deliberate attempt to sound different to Automatic.. That album was a reaction to what had gone before rather than an evolution.), and yet despite each other album being sonically similar to the one before - they have somehow got from the startled lo-fi of Murmur to to the celestial glimmer of Around the Sun. It`s been a true journey of evolution.
Each album has been a unique and distinct snapshot of where the band were at the time. Around The Sun is a great album, and an essential addition to the REM canon.Read more ›
I shouldn't go without mentioning the music, which is what we buy albums for. Wanderlust is a genuine treat, as is the single Leaving New York, with it's quirky piano line. The Outsiders however, is something of an anomaly. For the most part, it's glorious stuff, but then the whole song changes with that most ill-fated of things, the 'rap-in-a-rock-song'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Best songs are Leaving New York, Electron Blue,The Outsiders, I wanted To Be Wrong, Ascent of Man. While these are good songs the rest didn't do anything for me.Published 2 months ago by 42-39-56
As a life long R.E.M. fan looking back at the band after they have split up, this is the marker for me. Read morePublished 5 months ago by ReviewWithaView
Around The Sun is quite simply, one of the best REM albums - strong, consistent, emotive. Michael Stipe's voice has never been better and there isn't a weak song here. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Revvview
Another pretty good R.E.M. album, albeit one that rarely strays from the path. Fans of latter-day, classic R.E.M. Read morePublished on 18 Jun. 2013 by Torben Madsen
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When it first came out, this record was some kind of a disappointment: R.E.M. still sounded like they did before, but didn't "feel" it. Read morePublished on 27 Sept. 2012 by dado765
R.E.M.'s 13th studio album, AROUND THE SUN, will strike most listeners as a throwback to the band's sound in the early 1990s. Read morePublished on 11 Sept. 2012 by Mike London