- Audio CD (31 Mar. 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: WARNER BROS
- ASIN: B0013BNY2Q
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,751 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Accelerate (digipack) CD
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CD Wea, 49885-8, Digipac 11 Track 2008 Title Accelerate (Digipack)
At this stage in a band's career a Mojo front cover would seem more likely than actually getting their old mojo back. And at 14 albums young, REM's longevity had been taken as a byword for pale compliance--in spite of a melodic obedience, last album Around the Sun lacked the emotional vigour of their key works and was presumed by many to be no more than a footnote in their decline. Here then is where they break all the rules. Accelerate is exceptionally loyal to its title and marks a hefty return to their Document-era heyday, when their Byrdsian post-punk was beefed up to suit the arenas they were then beginning to fill. There's even a new "end of the world" song to back up that assertion--the excitable Stooges/B52s love-in "I'm Gonna DJ" ("Death is pretty final/I'm collecting vinyl/I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world!"). Michael Stipe's voice splinters scattered emotional punctuation, Mike Mills is as ever REM's secret weapon, drilling out bass-lines like rapid CPR and achieving more with a single backing vocal than many lead singers manage over a whole album, while Peter Buck deals out memorable guitar twists a-go-go evoking amongst others The Who, The Small Faces and Neil Young. To summon a cliché, this really does sound like a band--and a band half their age at that--playing live in a room, packed full of all the fire and nuances needed to feel at home in a club or the stadiums they now more regularly inhabit. --James Berry
Top Customer Reviews
This is simply the best REM album since Out of Time.
REM have the musical talent and conceptual genius to make their music relevent. This album is a breath of fresh air to all REM fans (When REM went mainstream, I was sick and tired of people who told me how much they loved "Losing my religion" or "Everybody hurts", without any realisation of this band's earlier career). In short, my freinds, REM are back. Not that they went away, but they were bubbling under the surface of capitalism. This is REM at their best. Enjoy.
It would be better if the songs were allowed to breathe and not suffocated. Please let's have some music recorded with natural dynamics instead of squashing everything.
Most of the songs are great by the way...
Yes, Accelerate is a return to form: strong, muscular, intense and powerful. It's also concise at 34 minutes and apparently took just nine days to record. Eschewing the experimentation of every album since Up, they've perhaps finally made the wilder follow-up to Automatic for the People that Monster so flagrantly failed to be.
Accelerate can be downright mouthy: Man-Sized Wreath violently rejects elder-statesman conceit and the post-punk sensibilities of Horse To Water seems to dare imitators and interpreters to match up. Musically, the sound of the band here reflects who they are in a live context: impassioned, intense, full of driving, droning guitars, the fires of the creative trio powerfully stoked by ex-Ministry drummer Bill Rieflin.
Lyrically, it's a dense and literary work, drawing on quotations from English metaphysical poet George Herbert's Jacula Pudentum in the opening track's title "Living Well Is The Best Revenge" and referencing American novelists Sinclair Lewis and William Burroughs as well as Victorian conjuror Harry Houdini on the lyrics sheet.
That's not to say it's in any way limp or over-intellectualised. Stipe certainly seems to be asking more questions of himself than ever: self-flagellating in Hollow Man, diving into dream imagery in Sing For The Submarine, begging for answers in Accelerate ("Where is the rip cord, the trap door, the key, where is the cartoon escape hatch for me?Read more ›
While I am not an R.E.M. completist I am an Accelerate completist, and so I went ahead with the purchase of this 'Deluxe' edition (actually I bought two copies of this, the second through amazon.com).
Let me say that I am very disappointed with this release. The '6 Days' documentary is awful, has some very disturbing camera movements and features only edited versions of songs. Seriously, I don't know how, when or under which circunstances did Stipe and Co. authorised this documentary for broad distribution.
While the Accelerate CD has turned me into a devoted R.E.M. fan the DVD has alienated me.
I recently saw a trailer for the upcoming R.E.M. album 'Collapse into Now' and I am very happy to report that there is a huge improvement over Accelerate's footage. The Collapse trailer has a crisp, colorful video image and nice camera pans, of all which are lacking in the Accelerate DVD.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a big REM fan, I've got most of what was ever released album-wise (LOADS of CDs!), and this was a massive disappointment. Read morePublished on 23 Dec. 2013 by Simon Winn-smith
'Accelerate' (2008) is a gritty and relatively short album with a sense of urgency to it. This - along with a fine collection of songs - is probably why it's so good, certainly one... Read morePublished on 6 April 2013 by Torben Madsen
What can i say yet another triumph for the lads i remember when thet were a support act and knew then what stars they would becomePublished on 13 Dec. 2011 by baz
Accelerate has a great opener --"Living Well is the best revenge". Peter Buck's guitar hadn't sounded this loud in years. Read morePublished on 28 Sept. 2010 by Jorge Reyes
It has been well documented how R.E.M. un-did their reputation as one of the worlds biggest bands as they struggled to come to terms with Bill Berry's retirement and hence their... Read morePublished on 17 Jun. 2010 by D.Joyce