Around the Sun

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
R.E.M have issued several stock-taking albums over the years, discs that depart fairly significantly from their signature sound, offering some of the band's most emotionally naked songs. That's certainly what's happening with Around the Sun, the band's first new studio offering in three years. While it would be stretching things to say that there's no guitar jangle in evidence here, that's not the sonic focus. "Electron Blue," an echoey, post-millennial take on Bachrach/David-style pop, drifts along on a subtle-but-insistent drum loop; piano infuses the elegant, melancholy "Leaving New York," apparently a look back at the dying embers of a relationship that finds ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
R.E.M have issued several stock-taking albums over the years, discs that depart fairly significantly from their signature sound, offering some of the band's most emotionally naked songs. That's certainly what's happening with Around the Sun, the band's first new studio offering in three years. While it would be stretching things to say that there's no guitar jangle in evidence here, that's not the sonic focus. "Electron Blue," an echoey, post-millennial take on Bachrach/David-style pop, drifts along on a subtle-but-insistent drum loop; piano infuses the elegant, melancholy "Leaving New York," apparently a look back at the dying embers of a relationship that finds Michael Stipe pondering all manner of what-ifs. At times, the lack of centering is somewhat maddening -- "The Outsiders," which features a superfluous cameo by rapper Q-Tip, meanders aimlessly through midlife-crisis territory -- but more often, it's compelling to lie back and let the melodies lap gently at the synapses. That's a good way to experience "The Final Straw," an acoustic guitar–laced mini-drama that's got traces of Lee Hazlewood and Richard Thompson in its dusky DNA. On the other hand, songs like the waltz-time "Wanderlust," which gives a post-rock makeover to Brecht-Weill cabaret ambiance, are more likely to grab the listener by the hand for a traipse around Stipe's ebbing and flowing stream of consciousness. Titular brightness aside, Around the Sun carries with it a little piece of pre-sunrise murk, the sort of dream-state worldview that can comfort -- or chill -- like nothing that usually appears in the light of day.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/5/2004
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • UPC: 093624890621
  • Catalog Number: 48906

Album Credits

Performance Credits
R.E.M. Primary Artist
Scott McCaughey Musician
Peter Buck Group Member
Q-Tip Musician
Bill Rieflin Musician
Hahn Rowe Musician
Michael Stipe Group Member
Ken Stringfellow Musician
Jamie Candiloro Musician
Technical Credits
Peter Buck Composer
Ted Jensen Mastering
Patrick McCarthy Producer
Mike Mills Composer
R.E.M. Producer, Audio Production
Michael Stipe Composer, Packaging
Bertis Downs Advisor
Jamie Candiloro Engineer
Chris Bilheimer Packaging
Pat McCarthy Audio Production
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Take Three or Four Times Around the Sun

    The heady days of R.E.M. jangle are over, but give this c.d. a chance and it will grow on you. Melodys are strong and they hook you into the music from underneath the songs. Peter Buck said it took forever to record and add all those layers to the songs. I think next time they shoot for faster more primative recording. Early Demo's of this c.d. might prove very revealing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews