Before I start this review, I have to confess: I belong to a very tiny minority of REM fans who actually liked their last album "Around the Sun", an album which drove away the last remaining hardcore REM fans in a final disappointmenting blow as the band continued to experiment in studio at the expense of just about all their strengths. However, I must emphasise even in my case, I like that album as an average pop album & certainly not as a REM album.
REM seemingly fell apart in the 90s once the original drummer Bill Berry left after "New Adventures in HiFi". The great drum sounds & beats, trademark guitar riffs & Michael Stipe's voice all somehow deserted subsequent experimental REM albums & so did fans in droves!
And then, out of nowhere the band decided to reintroduce all of the above & more, in a back to basic album "Accelerate" in 2008. Fans were rightly delighted, the great drum beats, guitar riffs & Michael Stipe's signature voice are all back in this great album which belongs to the Top 40 if not Top 20 best albums of the decade.
The songs are simple & short (the whole album is less than 35 minutes long), and there are many great tracks with the title track "Accelerate", "Houston" and "Sing for the Submarine" the most outstanding of the lot.
Some of the lyrics in the album, like all other R.E.M albums at times lack clarity & can be a little bit weak. But then again I have never been REM's biggest fan as far as their lyrics are concerned!
Overall, a must inclusion in any good music collection & arguably one of the best albums of 2008.
My overall rating: 8/10