R.E.M. - Up
Warner Brothers

When everyone says something good about an album you want to say something bad about it.

Sometimes, though, everyone is right.

Up is a good album. No, Up is a great album. It's probably one of the best albums of 1998. Whether
or not it is one of R.E.M.'s best albums remains to be seen. I think it will stand the course of
time as well as R.E.M.'s other recordings over the years.

I'm a fan of only two bands that I can think of that never sound 'alike' on two CDs -- Sonic Youth
and R.E.M.

R.E.M. has always experimented, and Up is no different in that regard, but on Up they were forced
to experiment, due to the departure of drummer Bill Berry. Some of the tracks borrow drummers, but
others simply don't use drums or use an electronic drum beat.

I almost think R.E.M. should breakup after this album. Up features elements of all of their last
albums, and refines them to a point where there could be nothing better. Need a mellow acoustic
song a la Automatic for the People? Look no further than the lead single, Daysleeper. Want
something that rocks like it's straight off of Monster? You've got Lotus. And if you wanted R.E.M.
to continue in the direction that New Adventures in Hi-Fi sent them, you've got the Apologist. 

*Every* song on this album works *extremely* well. If you're an R.E.M. fan, you've already got
this. If you're not, why the hell aren't you?
...john heisel...

... new reviews ... archive ...