Having previously only owned Out Of Time, Automatic For The People, and Best Of, I was thinking "REM don't do rock". But I was wrong! People who like Monster or New Adventures will probably also like this. Ranging from medium-pace ("Begin the Begin") to frantic ("Just a touch"), the rock tracks have a vibrancy and freshness somehow lacking in the later works. But there is so much more to this album. "Cuyahoga" is arguably REM's best ever track. Simple, understandable lyrics, which make a political statement (like John Lennon) but are at the same time poetic (like Bob Dylan or early Paul Simon). Wonderful! Other highlights include the dreamy "Flowers of Guatemala", upbeat "I believe" and more political anthems - "Fall on me", "What if we give it away?" and the acoustic "Swan Swan H". All the tracks gel together really well, and there is not a duff track on here, with the possible exception of the strange instrumental. But even that fits onto this album better than the funny lumpy ones they put on Automatic and New Adventures. This is a much more musically diverse and interesting album to listen to than Document, which followed; and if, after having listened to Out of Time and Automatic, you're feeling depressed, this album is the perfect antidote. Oh, I also forgot to mention, the distinctive Stipe/Mills vocal harmonies are superb too. It's a must-have album, and 16 years after its release, I think it is still one of the best, if not the best, REM album.