Collapse Into Now
Label: Concord Records
Collapse Into Now is about R.E.M. embracing its core aesthetic: folk-rock, shot through with power-pop pep and shambolic indie verve. A mix of rockers and ballads, the record's stand-outs are the former. The opening one-two punch of "Discoverer" and "All the Best" is particularly sweet; both echo the band's love for The Velvet Underground and Fairport Convention. Producer Jacknife Lee, whose skill at framing the band's acoustic flavors is key to the album's success, does a nice job making R.E.M. sound current without the feeling that they're pandering to young fans of modern indie pop.