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R.E.M.'s first studio album in four years, Accelerate, finds modern rock's most acclaimed band returning to the stripped down, guitar-driven power that first enraptured fans. Helmed by the band and, for the first time, Jacknife Lee (co-producer of U2's How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, The Hives and Snow Patrol), Accelerate puts the group once again firmly behind the wheel of alternative rock.

Reviews:

It seems like we haven't heard much from R.E.M. this decade, even though they've been cranking out records at their standard one-every-three-years pace'"2001 gave us the gold Reveal and 2004 offered the less successful Around the Sun. It's hard to comprehend their slow fall from grace; contemporaries U2 are still massive and the Athens trio had a sick run of six platinum-plus records up to drummer Bill Berry's departure in 1997. Maybe it's the fact that Michael Stipe and company spent those last two discs crafting sun-dappled, sleepy pop while the charts continued to champion bulldog belligerence. Well, word is that Accelerate is truth in advertising, an arena-sized rock album along the lines of past hits Monster and Automatic for the People. First single "Supernatural Superserious" sets an up-tempo tone and the band seems rejuvenated. Looking forward to seeing them back at the top of the (eye) charts.