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Accelerate (digipack) CD

4.0 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, 31 Mar 2008
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Frequently bought together

  • Accelerate (digipack)
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  • Collapse Into Now: Special Edition Digipack
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Product details

  • 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)
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Product description

Product description

CD Wea, 49885-8, Digipac 11 Track 2008 Title Accelerate (Digipack)

Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My review is not only in the title above -
This is simply the best REM album since Out of Time.
Enjoy.
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Reacting against accusations that they were getting "soft" and pandering to record company executives, REM release "Accelerate", an album that sees them returning to the anti-capitalist, anti-western society mode of thought, a stance they did indeed lose with the pressure of their success. "Accelerate" is a stormer of an album, grabbing the listener by the balls and never letting go. Anyone who expects the neo-pop sound of the commercial REM will be shocked. This album is thoughtful and sincere, a successor, I think, to the "Out of Time" album, in modern terms. The title "Accelerate" says it all; faster music, more direct vocals and lyrics condemning the way we are forced to live by both society and our loved ones. And not only that, this album questions your choice in the music you are listening to; to your lifestyle and attitude.

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.
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This album is not as good as it could be. Like most other reviewers I agree this is the best REM album for some time. However, my beef is with the mastering. I can only listen to about three songs in a row due to the sonic bludgeoning that this CD inflicts on me. It really is physically tiring to be subjected to a virtually constant volume level on every song. Like others I'm frustrated at how this recording has been mastered. Every song is the same volume, every part of every song is the same volume, every guitar part is the same volume, thrashy guitar chords and guitar arpeggios are the same volume. Can't we have some light and shade? This is particulary draining to listen to. The whole recordings been turned into some sort of liquidised sonic mush where there's no lumpy bits and everything's the one gloopy texture. No doubt guitar/drum/bass etc parts were compressed when they were recorded, compressed further when they were mixed, and then the whole mix was probably compressed. .. leading to a unpleasant listening experience.

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...
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It's difficult to know whether to applaud Stipe, Buck and Mills for coming out with their most solid and succinct piece of work since Bill Berry's exit, or whether to frown at the extent to which they've been content to conform to most people's idea of what an REM album should be.

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?
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First of all, let me say that Accelerate is a great album: the music is among the best R.E.M. has produced. There are pretty good songs like Houston, Supernatural Superserious, I'm Gonna DJ, horse to Water and Living Well is the Best Revenge (all of them 'rockers') and a ballad (Until the Day is Done).

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.
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