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R.E.M. - Up Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 October 1998


format: CD
label: Warner Bros. Records
release year: 2003
performance: 7.5
sound 8
reviewed by: Jason Karsh

ImageThis probably won't win me many friends in Athens, GA., or anywhere else that REM fan club members reign, but REM, for the most part, really only makes two or three songs. Oh sure, they change the lyrics a little now and again and they occasionally throw a different note into the melody, but mostly their songs are either "Losing My Religion"-esque or along the lines of "Everybody Hurts." Not that they are the only band with this 'singular sound' kind of virus. From U2 to A Tribe Called Quest to Depeche Mode, the list is really quite endless. In the end, mostly it depends on whether or not you like the one or two songs this kind of band does.

In my case, the answer is that I like one of the two, and--as far as 'Up' goes--that's good enough. Why? Because almost all of this album is down tempo, melancholy, and under-produced. It is also recorded and mixed well. In my book, that's good enough to get a recommendation. Just be warned that as good as this album is, it's not driven by that hot, pop single. It certainly seems a less commercial album than what REM's produced in the past. This, too, is another reason 'Up' might just be better than you think.

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