Saturday, March 30, 2013


R.E.M. revisited the janglepop of their past with these lean guitar riffs and taut rhythms to make short work of a comeback.  'Accelerate' was recorded at Armoury Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Grouse Lodge Studios in County Westmeath, Ireland; and Seney-Stonewall Chapel in Athens, Georgia, United States; with additional recording in Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland and Mike Mills' home in Athens, Georgia.  For the first time, the band decided to work with producer Jacknife Lee.  Michael Stipe reveals:    "It was Edge actually who kind of pushed us toward Jacknife. He had worked with U2 and Edge thought it would be a great marriage of minds for us and Jacknife to go into the studio together. I was really thrilled with the work he had done on Snow Patrol and Bloc Party. When we met him, he was really good and straight talking, so we were excited. Smart guy. It seemed like it would be a good mix...I think he's got his own style, but more than anything it's probably just a directness, a straightforward way of communicating, which is something that the band we were looking for in ourselves on this record [needed]. And he definitely has his own sound. I think he does, anyway. It's a little different. He doesn't necessarily come from rock music and so the universe that he collides with our universe is interesting. I like the sounds he brought and I like the enthusiasm he had for the material and for helping us to make what he wanted to be a great R.E.M. record. I think we came pretty close, you know?...The material was basically when we brought Jacknife into the equation. What it was, really, was the band realizing that somewhere in the past couple of records, in the past 10 years, we had figured out how to completely lose focus in the studio-- with no one to blame but ourselves. We were working with an excellent producer named Pat McCarthy, someone who did not have an enviable job of trying to get the three of us to agree on anything or even sit down at table and talk about it.  He had a really tough job-- particularly on the last record, because we released a best-of right in the middle of it and went out and toured that. We came back and tried to pick up where we had left [off]. We had just completely lost focus on it. So when we went to write this material and start working on it-- and again this is before Jacknife came in-- we wanted something that was super-immediate and we wanted something that felt kind of raw. We went to the most obvious place, which was to do really fast songs that were really short. Peter did what he does, I did what I do, and Mike did what he does, so we kind of trimmed the fat, if you will, and got down to the very basics that make each of us musicians. And so what you're left with is this type of material performed with Peter doing... a couple of times in the past ten years, I've said to him, I want that thing again. Just for the longest time I said, Stop doing that, to Peter. Or, Mike would be like, The vocal is really great as it is, and it's coming from an articulated place conceptually, so I don't think it really needs background vocals. So he wouldn't do background vocals. Or, I would say, Yeah, I think it stands alone. Or whatever. So anyway, we threw our cards on the table and did what comes naturally when we've got a more broken-down palette of colors to work with. And that's what you wind up with. I'm really happy with it."

'Accelerate' rocketed to fifty-two in Spain; twenty-nine in Japan; twenty-seven in Portugal; seventeen in France; thirteen in Australia; ten in Finland; seven in Sweden; five in New Zealand; two in Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the US; and number one in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and the UK.  

"Living Well Is the Best Revenge"  – 3:11
"Man-Sized Wreath"  – 2:32
"Supernatural Superserious"  – 3:23
"Hollow Man"  – 2:39
"Houston"  – 2:05
"Accelerate"  – 3:33
"Until the Day Is Done"  – 4:08
"Mr. Richards"  – 3:46
"Sing for the Submarine"  – 4:50
"Horse to Water"  – 2:18
"I'm Gonna DJ"  – 2:07

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