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Around The Sun (Int'l Jewelcase)

97 customer reviews

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Music

Image of album by R.E.M.

Photos

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Biography

R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, USA, in 1980 by Michael Stipe (lead vocals), Peter Buck (guitar), Mike Mills (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Bill Berry (drums and percussion). R.E.M. was one of the first popular alternative rock bands, and gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's unclear vocals. R.E.M. released ... Read more in Amazon's R.E.M. Store

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Around The Sun (Int'l Jewelcase) + Accelerate (digipack) + Reveal
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Product details

  • 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 (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,478 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Leaving New York
2. Electron Blue
3. The Outsiders
4. Make It All Okay
5. Final Straw
6. I Wanted To Be Wrong
7. Wanderlust
8. Boy In The Well
9. Aftermath
10. High Speed Train
11. The Worst Joke Ever
12. The Ascent Of Man
13. Around The Sun

Product Description

Product Description

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".

BBC Review

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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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Just Another Number on 17 Oct. 2004
Format: Audio CD
I find the reviews of this album very revealing about the sort of people that listen to REM. Most people seem to have very two-dimensional, linear expectations of this band. And so they miss the point completely.
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.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Penfold on 27 July 2005
Format: Audio CD
R.E.M. have never been conventional by any means. You know that whenever they release an album, it's going to delight, frustrate, confuse, and embrace in equal measures. I consider this to be the magic of R.E.M., as they never quite release what you're expecting of them.
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andy E on 17 May 2011
Format: Audio CD
I was given this album as a present last year (2010) and I have been kicking myself ever since. How could I have missed it when it was released in 2004? Thats six years of missed enjoyment!

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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jetson on 15 Nov. 2004
Format: Audio CD
....but it's hard to say that this album has not left my CD player since i bought it, because it has. I've been an REM fan since i was 10 years old, and own everything they've ever released that i can feasibly get hold of. But for me, this album has missed the mark. It's still a good album, but 'good' is the best superlative i can use. Over the years, Michael Stipes voice has mellowed somewhat, and subtle changes have crept in. He's still as distinctive a singer as you'll find today, but the voice has changed in a way i cant even describe. Unfortunately, it's not the same. All bands change, but it's a shame that (hopefully just for a short time) gone are the REM who threw "Whats The Frequency Kenneth?" at us, or who exalted the joys of skinny-dipping in Nightswimming, or who (going back a lot further) talked about 'Laocuon and her two sons' in "Laughing". The band still have the great songs to back them up when playing live, but in recent years, and with the departure of Bill Berry, things have slowed down. NAI Hi-Fi was a criminally underrated album, Up was a bit of a downer, Reveal was fantastic but had weak fillers such as Beachball, and now Around The Sun. Don't get me wrong, i'll still be going to see them live in Bebruary, and i'll still be buying their stuff. REM are still one of the biggest bands on earth, but after hearing this album, i wonder if they are still one of the most important.
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'.
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