Accelerate

Studio Album by released in 2008
Accelerate's tracklist:
Living Well Is the Best Revenge
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Man-Sized Wreath
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Supernatural Superserious
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Hollow Man
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Houston
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Accelerate
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Until the Day Is Done
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Mr. Richards
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Sing for the Submarine
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Horse to Water
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I'm Gonna DJ
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Accelerate review

The most patient fans

Let's say it honestly – R.E.M.'s very last album Around The Sun wasn't something their fans really wanted to hear. The record was miles away from the sound this band became famous for. It was too polished, too overproduced, too labored. Not that bad though, bit still many of those who bought it were rather finding pleasure in watching a full collection of R.E.M. albums on their shelves than in the record itself. In this situation their new album Accelerate is supposed to be a savior of R.E.M.'s respected name. Especially considering that fact that after Bill Berry's departure in 1997 R.E.M. were basically involved in the constant testing of their fans' devotion. Roughly speaking, for the most part, those post-Berry records didn't really correspond to the quality standards the band has established during earlier period and their last album became a sort of culmination of their decline. In a word, Accelerate simply obliged to be a strong record, otherwise R.E.M. take a big risk to loose a big part of their audience, which is still able to embrace their future works.

Accelerate: the explosive power of rock music

It seems like the album's title was chosen to reflect the sonic constituent of the album. Obviously the band understood how much the correction work was needed and tried to make their best in making something opposite to their last album. Indeed, Accelerate sounds like a contradiction to Around The Sun. It is loud, anxious, filled with sharp guitars and assaulting riffs. Even those songs that primarily look like acoustic have a peculiar undisguised rock-drive core. The album opens with a pretty exemplifying track Living Well Is The Best Revenge. It is fast, sharp and rebellious. The track's pulsates with deep-base unstoppable throb and almost punky wall of guitars. The song tells of how the rest of the album will sound. The next track is no less expressive. Man-Sized Wreath is almost of the same character. It may sound slower, more tuneful and funky but that very spirit of a real rocker prevails here. The following song Supernatural Superserious sticks to this formula too. However, it is probably the most R.E.M. sounding song in this impressive trinity.

R.E.M. look back in the past

The acoustic songs, of course, remain a very important part of the album. These are just those very tracks, which will be like a balm for the fans that are so tired of waiting. Housten or Until The Day Is Done take a listener back to R.E.M.'s early days, when they were just starting their long way. And these are not the only examples when the band attempts to reanimate their primal style. Particularly, the ballad Hollow Man looks like a self-portrait, which reflects their image from early 90's but depicts the band in softer colors. The echoes of the past compile the essence of this album. And it is hardly possible to call it a disadvantage or a mistake. Quite on the contrary, it is something that helps them to collect their artistic strength together. Even if R.E.M. are engaged in self-plagiarism (if it is possible to put it this way) they do it passionately and professionally. Dedication - probably this is the motto of Accelerate. It seems like they decided to show that they are rock band in the first place and let everything else go to hell. In short, if you always loved this band, but you consider that R.E.M. will never be the same again, just listen to Accelerate, it will help you to change this opinion at least for some time.