Sound — 8
As I write this, there is no album tab up yet for the album Accelerate by R.E.M. (I'm working on that!!!!) which was released in 2007. However, for anyone who has heard R.E.M. before the sound that is used is very similar to what R.E.M. considered to be their first "Rock" Album, New Adventures in Hi-Fi. The band was very proud of it when it was released in 1996, and for good reason. The sound was heavy at parts and lighter on others, a traditional Rock album. The sound that is heard in Accelerate is much like it. However the songs are much more driving and somewhat haunting even, as heard with "Until The Day is Done' and "Houston". The band opens up with the song "Living well is the Best Revenge". After the album that appeared in 2004 "Around the Sun", the opening to the first song should inform any listener the band took a new turn from that of 2004, and that new turn brought them to the pure driven rock sound of New Adventures in Hi-Fi. Unlike the album of 2004, the guitar is the dominant instrument, finally giving Peter Buck a reason to go full throttle on this song. The bass, as always, is done like not many other bands, thank you Mike Mills. The sound of Michael Stipe is always great. He has the arcing sound while hitting the song home. Perfect. The downside is that unlike almost every other album done by R.E.M., it was not apparent that the Rickenbacker guitar was being utilized. I'm not even sure if it was, which would be a shame since it is an amazing guitar brand and it is Peter's favorite.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics... Michael Stipe is a beautiful poet, but I just don't hear the poetry behind the songs. Well written yes, and some are extremely well written with the the listener able to tell that there is indeed poetry behind the song. "Until the Day is Done" and "Hallow Man" are my two favorite poetry influenced songs. But otherwise, it is a different Michael Stipe, how ever it is a Michael Stipe that can still be enjoyed greatly.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall it was a great album. Short and fast paced going barely of 30 minutes, this album will hit you hard in the chest and leave gasping for more. And from what I have heard through the grapevine, their next album will like the one that was made in 1994 "Monster" an album known forever as an amazing sonic experiment that is hard to grasp, but when fully understood, even by the more traditional fans, that album is one of their best. But as for Accelerate, it will go down with "Murmer", "Document", "Green", "Out Of Time", "Automatic For The People", "Monster" and "New adventures in Hi-Fi". That is sound wise only. If you want to look at it from a view of income, it will still go down with "Murmer", "Document", "Out of time" and "Monster" Overall, great album.