Collapse Into Now

R.E.M.

Collapse Into Now

Collapse Into Now continues the electric pulse of Accelerate and brings it to a new loudness. The days of Stipe mumbling are long passed, but his days of yelling over the band are in full swing. Even when he can think of nothing but “Oh My Heart” to serve as a chorus, he does it with a passion usually reserved for the more topical tunes. “It Happened Today” jangles like the band re-found “Driver 8” and decided to ask for directions. “Every Day Is Yours to Win” swamps up the sound with so many instruments swirling that the band can hardly be called an instrumental three-piece since Mike Mills colors everything in sight. “Discoverer,” “All the Best” and “Mine Smell Like Honey,” with production that ramps up the serrated edges of the group, grind with distortion and an aggression not often associated with the post-Bill Berry group. “Walk It Back” is the piano ballad. “Alligator Aviator Autopilot Antimatter” and “That Someone Is You” are the stream-of-consciousness rockers. “Blue,” the official album closer,” is an extra-terrestrial transmission where it sounds as if Michael Stipe merges with his radio stuck between stations.

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