Reveal R.E.M.

Album info

Album-Release:
2001

HRA-Release:
11.07.2012

Label: Concord Records

Genre: Rock

Subgenre: Classic Rock

Album including Album cover

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  • 1The Lifting04:35
  • 2I've Been High03:26
  • 3All The Way To Reno [You're Gonna Be A Star]04:43
  • 4She Just Wants To Be05:21
  • 5Disappear04:10
  • 6Saturn Return04:55
  • 7Beat A Drum04:20
  • 8Imitation Of Life03:56
  • 9Summer Turns To High03:31
  • 10Chorus And The Ring04:31
  • 11I'll Take The Rain05:51
  • 12Beachball04:14
  • Total Runtime53:33

Info for Reveal

It's been twenty years since R.E.M. released their debut single, 'Radio Free Europe,' declaring their independence from the rock cliches of 1981 with a few self-evident truths: guitars, drums, hair, soulful moaning, spasmodic melody, raw emotion, pretensions and sexy mumbles nobody has deciphered to this day. Jesus, it sounded good. They were the archetypal American band of the Eighties, but it wasn't till the Nineties that they grew up and hit the roll of their lives: In a mere six years, they gave us four classics, in Out of Time (love vs. war), Automatic for the People (love vs. death), Monster (love = guitars) and New Adventures in Hi-Fi (guitars = sex). But the past few years have been rough on R.E.M. and their fans, especially with the departure of drummer Bill Berry. So it's inspiring to hear Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills brighten up on Reveal, telling a few fables of their own reconstruction with an album of gorgeous, woozily sun-struck ballads. Reveal won't need to grow on you - thirty seconds into the opener, 'The Lifting,' you can tell these guys got lucky with the muse again. Like U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind, it's a spiritual renewal rooted in a musical one.

The last we heard from R.E.M. was the 1998 transitional album Up, their first without Berry, a sour, parched affair that hasn't gained any luster with time. The one keeper was the Brian Wilson smile of 'At My Most Beautiful,' best heard on the Never Been Kissed soundtrack (a stronger album song for song than Up). But if you go back to Up after hearing Reveal, you get the idea that this is the album they were trying to make then, and that this time they got all the way there and found a parking spot. The Eno-style keyboard textures have more room to breathe amid the largely acoustic guitars, with the arcane sound effects intricately woven into the songs. After a few dozen spins, the only ones I'm sick of are 'Disappear' and 'Saturn Return,' for no good reason except, in the latter case, astrology filtered through Goldie and Gwen Stefani. The rest? Merely the R.E.M. of your dreams, all rambling guitars haunted by Stipe, who makes flesh and blood out of the lyrical riddles with his most effusive and emotional growls.

Reveal doesn't rock out much, which was never R.E.M.'s department anyway. Instead, they stick to the ruminative midtempo strum-groove where they feel at home, with guests Joey Waronker on drums, as well as the Posies' Ken Stringfellow and the Young Fresh Fellows' Scott McCaughey on keyboards. 'Imitation of Life' might be the most beautiful song these gentlemen have put their names on since 'Man on the Moon' back in 1992. Buck returns to the Rickenbacker-style guitar jangle of his early, hairy days, while the surging strings and playful keyboards raise goose bumps you didn't even remember you had. Like many of the highlights on Reveal, 'Imitation of Life' finds Stipe singing about the pleasures of love and their aftermath ('This sugar cane, this lemonade/This hurricane, I'm not afraid'). But whether he comes on terrified of love, in 'I've Been High,' or devastated by it, in 'I'll Take the Rain,' he talks about the passion with a different disguise in every song. He even gets ecstatic in 'Beat a Drum,' a pastoral sex reverie where he knocks the Birkenstocks with a mysterious lover who takes him 'halfway from coal, halfway to diamond' over an unironically blissful piano melody.

The songs on Reveal have lushly layered hooks that the band couldn't have pulled off ten years ago: the prairie-guitar twang of 'All the Way to Reno (You're Gonna Be a Star),' the melancholy Al Green horns of 'Beachball,' the Another Green World synth sparkles of 'I've Been High.' But the music never gets cluttered, thanks largely to Mr. Stipe, who comes out front to emote loud and clear. He sings in the voice of a full-grown mammal who's smart enough to realize that love is scary stuff and brave enough to hunger for it anyway, even though he's seen the end of the world as he knows it so many times it's not a joke anymore. It must be strange for R.E.M., as it is for the rest of us, that the rock world of 2001 looks so much like the one that they were rebelling against twenty years ago; once again, the radio is full of interchangeable metal gomers who never met a rule they didn't obey, and once again R.E.M. are totally out of step with the times. And judging by the ceaselessly astonishing beauty of Reveal, that's exactly where they want to be. (Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone Magazine)

Peter Buck, guitars, mandolin
Mike Mills, bass, organ, piano, vocals
Michael Stipe, lead vocals

Additional Musicians:
Scott McCaughey
Ken Stringfellow
Joey Waronker
Jamie Candiloro

Produced by Pat McCarthy & R.E.M.
Recorded & Mixed by Pat McCarthy & Jamie Candiloro
Recorded at THE WAREHOUSE Studios, Vancouver, British Columbia and JOHN KEANE Studios, Athens, Georgia
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios

REVEAL was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Recording Package. 'Imitation Of Life' was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal.


R.E.M.
were an alternative rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, United States in 1980. The band originally consisted of Michael Stipe (vocals), Peter Buck (guitar, mandolin), Mike Mills (bass, keyboards, vocals) and Bill Berry (drums). Berry retired from the band in October 1997 after having suffered a brain aneurysm in 1995.

R.E.M. released its first single, 'Radio Free Europe', in 1981 on the independent record label Hib-Tone. The single was followed by the Chronic Town EP in 1982, the band's first release on I.R.S. Records. In 1983, the group released its critically acclaimed debut album, Murmur, and built its reputation over the next few years through subsequent releases, constant touring, and the support of college radio. Following years of underground success, R.E.M. achieved a mainstream hit in 1987 with the single 'The One I Love'. The group signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1988, and began to espouse political and environmental concerns while playing large arenas worldwide.

By the early 1990s, when alternative rock began to experience broad mainstream success, R.E.M. was viewed as a pioneer of the genre and released its two most commercially successful albums, Out of Time (1991) and Automatic for the People (1992), which veered from the band's established sound. R.E.M.'s 1994 release, Monster, was a return to a more rock-oriented sound. The band began its first tour in six years to support the album; the tour was marred by medical emergencies suffered by three band members. In 1996, R.E.M. re-signed with Warner Bros. for a reported US$80 million, at the time the most expensive recording contract in history. The following year, Bill Berry left the band, while Buck, Mills, and Stipe continued the group as a three-piece. Through some changes in musical style, the band continued its career into the next decade with mixed critical and commercial success. In 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Work on the group's fourteenth album commenced in early 2007. The band recorded with producer Jacknife Lee in Vancouver and Dublin, where it played five nights in the Olympia Theatre between June 30 and July 5 as part of a 'working rehearsal'. R.E.M. Live, the band's first live album (featuring songs from a 2005 Dublin show), was released in October 2007. The group followed this with the 2009 live album Live at The Olympia, which features performances from their 2005 residency. R.E.M. released Accelerate in early 2008. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard charts, and became the band's eighth album to top the British album charts. Rolling Stone reviewer David Fricke considered Accelerate an improvement over the band's previous post-Berry albums, calling it 'one of the best records R.E.M. have ever made.'

In 2010, R.E.M. released the video album R.E.M. Live from Austin, TX—a concert recorded for Austin City Limits in 2008. The group recorded its fifteenth album, Collapse into Now (2011), with Jacknife Lee in locales including Berlin, Nashville, and New Orleans. For the album, the band aimed for a more expansive sound than the intentionally short and speedy approach implemented on Accelerate. The album debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, becoming the group's tenth album to reach the top ten of the chart. This release fulfilled R.E.M.'s contractual obligations to Warner Bros., and they began recording material without a contract a few months later with the possible intention of self-releasing the work.

On September 21, 2011, the band announced via its website that it was 'calling it a day as a band'. Stipe said that he hoped their fans realized it 'wasn't an easy decision': 'All things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.' Long-time associate and former Warner Bros. Senior Vice President of Emerging Technology Ethan Kaplan has speculated that shake-ups at the record label influenced the group's decision to disband. The band members will finish their collaboration by assembling the compilation album Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982–2011, scheduled for release in November 2011. The album will be the first to collect songs from R.E.M.'s I.R.S. and Warner Bros. tenures, as well as the group's final studio recordings from post-Collapse into Now sessions.

On 21 September 2011, after over 30 years together, R.E.M. announced that they had split up. (Source: artists.letssingit.com)

This album contains no booklet.

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