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The selection of songs could have been better
on 11 February 2010
A compilation album from REM, from 1988 to 2003, from "Green" to "Reveal", the period when it was commercially at its peak (we can argue whether it was their artistic peak as well; to me their best period in that regard was during the last years for the IRS label). Obviously, what makes a compilation album is a great job in selecting the material. There are many great songs here ("electrolite", "losing my religion", "man on the moon", "stand", "the great beyond", "bad day", "the sidewinder sleeps tonite"), but too many good songs were left out as well (for instance, "pop song 89", "world leader pretend", "get up", the untitled song from green, "near wild heaven", "shiny happy people"), and mediocre songs were selected instead ("animal", "all the right friends", "at the most beautiful"). So this is not the knockout album it could have been. Of course, this might just be my subjective opinion of what their best songs were during this period, but many songs left out of this album have been favorites of many of their fans, so it's hard to understand the rationale of the selection. I felt the compilation of the IRS years, Eponymous, did a far better job in presenting the band's highlights.