1980s hit-band R.E.M. will release its 14th studio album this week, “Accelerate,” hoping that would be the beginning of its revitalization. It appears that “Accelerate” is the band’s best effort in more than a decade, as R.E.M. has not made a beginning-to-end album since in 1992 with “Automatic for the People.”
From their debut in 1981 until the mid-1990s, Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry (who left the band in 1997 due to a brain aneurysm) became a definitive American rock band. However, R.E.M.’s sales and influence declined in the last decade. ”Accelerate” comes as a replica to the internal crisis that Stipe depicted as a major one, which almost broke up the band.
R.E.M.’s old fans should welcome the album, as it is reminiscent of the band’s late 1980s sound. “Accelerate” was recorded in a couple of weeks and contains 11 songs totaling less than 35 minutes. Of the new songs, “Living Well Is the Best Revenge” is undeniably attention-snatching and “Horse to Water” proves that Peter Buck’s guitar is still loud and vibrant.