REM's new album Accelerate is a reasonable effort. The songs are short. Michael Stipe seems inspired and angry. And there's a 'togetherness' to the sound, as if it were recorded in someone's living room with an analog eight-track recorder. In Athens, Georgia.
But is it good?
The FBO can't decide. The Rolling Stones tried with the last studio album A Bigger Bang a couple years ago -- tried as hard as they could -- but it wasn't really enough to be good. REM's album is better. They might have done better without 40-something Pete Buck compressing so much 20-something distortion. The songs could have sped along their REM-y path as effecitvely, if not more, with a more Reckoning style sound. But they're the professionals.
After actually listening to the full songs, we'd like to change our FBO rankings on each:
What to make of it then?
--> The FBO sees REM's Accelerate as an appropriate apology for a decade-plus of poor work. (See our call for an apology here.) But it doesn't necessarily reinstate REM to 'friend' status. In the meantime, REM is welcome to observe FBO goings-on online, but we'd prefer if REM did not attend the panhandle show in Guymon, OK on July 14.
Meanwhile, we're looking forward to a little less REM in coming weeks.
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY