REM: Collapse Into Now

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Collapse Into Now

(Warner Bros)

REM’s 15th album Collapse Into Now opens with “Discoverer”, in which Michael Stipe discovers the joys of cocktails and laughter (“Remember that vodka espresso night of discovery / Remember that? Laughing! Discovery!”) as Peter Buck and Mike Mills seize the moment with ringing riffs and pounding rhythms.

It’s a lively way to kick off the band’s 30th anniversary celebrations, which continue with “All the Best”’s electric memories of early-1980s Hüsker Dü, a formative REM influence, and the ecstatic “It Happened Today”. But then the party takes an embarrassing turn with the appallingly named “Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter”, which finds Stipe shouting nonsense in a duet with Peaches. The rest of us shuffle our feet and look at the floor.

Collapse Into Now has its moments, but there’ll be sore heads in the morning – not least because of producer Jackknife Lee’s heavily compressed, too-loud production style.

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