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Around the Sun

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Audio CD, October 5, 2004
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Leaving New YorkR.E.M. 4:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Electron BlueR.E.M. 4:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The OutsidersR.E.M. (Featuring Q-Tip) 4:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Make It All OkayR.E.M. 3:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Final StrawR.E.M. 4:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I Wanted To Be WrongR.E.M. 4:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. WanderlustR.E.M. 3:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Boy In The WellR.E.M. 5:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. AftermathR.E.M. 3:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. High Speed TrainR.E.M. 5:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. The Worst Joke EverR.E.M. 3:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. The Ascent Of ManR.E.M. 4:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Around The SunR.E.M. 4:28$1.29  Buy MP3 

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R.E.M. marked the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock. When their first single, "Radio Free Europe," was released in 1981, it sparked a back-to-the-garage movement in the American underground. While there were a number of hardcore and punk bands in the U.S. during the early '80s, R.E.M. brought guitar pop back into the underground lexicon. Combining ringing guitar ... Read more in Amazon's R.E.M. Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 5, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B0002W4UVG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,607 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Having delivered their last great album with 1992's haunting Automatic For the People, R.E.M. spent more than decade attempting all kinds of reinvention, from the pointlessly noisy Monster to the painfully dull Up. But with Around the Sun it feels like the band is getting its bearings back. Not only is it the Georgia trio's most consistent album since the 1997 departure of drummer Bill Berry, but it also sees the return of the lush imagery and intricate playing of the band's vintage years. There are trains, mandolins, Man Ray skies. More importantly, it seems heartfelt. Witness the gorgeous disquietingly dark opener "Leaving New York," the rapturous folk of "I Wanted to Be Wrong" and the solidly intense "Boy In the Well." At 13 generous tracks, it's far from perfect but--just when everyone thought R.E.M. was down for the count--Around the Sun is an unexpected bruiser of a comeback. --Aidin Vaziri

Customer Reviews

I think Around the Sun is R.E.M.'s best album in years.
Slim Jim D
This album really is a starting platform for anyone who wants to get into R.E.M's music.
Hiloani Kialeta
That doesn't mean the album's horrible, or there are no good songs on it.
Mike London

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Mike London on November 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
R.E.M.'s 13th studio album, AROUND THE SUN, will strike most listeners as a throwback to the band's sound in the early 1990s. While I've always thought OUT OF TIME was a pretty disposable record (save for a few songs), AUTOMATIC is what hooked me on R.E.M. While REVEAL, though short on melodies, sounds very much like a classicist R.E.M. album, AROUND THE SUN sounds like the band's trying to rewrite AUTOMATIC, and in every department AROUND THE SUN comes up deficient when compared to its predecessor, mostly because of its lack of emotional depth and the directionless funk R.E.M. finds themselves in the New Millennium.

While AUTOMATIC is slow and built mainly on ballads and folk songs (albeit seen through a rock context), it had an emotional core that binds the record into a cohesive whole. AUTOMATIC never shies away from the heady themes, but it is a comforting record. Much of the album is largely mid tempo with one major exception. The political dirge "Ignoreland," where Stipe kicks the music and lyrics into high gear, bashing Reagan and the Republican Party, sounds both out of place and is rather jarring. Other than that and the rather bizarre inclusion of the throwaway two minute instrumental "New Orleans," AUTOMATIC mediates mostly on death, pain, and a search for solace. It is a tremendous set of songs, and is rightly regarded as one of R.E.M.'s masterpieces. It's mellow, soul-searching music. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE is the one fo the best realisations of the power of folk and medative music played in a rock and roll context.

AROUND THE SUN, no matter what way you slice it, sounds like a directionless mess.
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83 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Steven Reynolds on October 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If you're among the millions who think R.E.M. peaked in '92 with "Automatic For The People", and that everything since has been an intermittently interesting but ultimately fruitless search for a new sound, then this album might appeal to you more than the last few. It's slick, lyrical, often radio-friendly, but has enough political edginess and lump-in-the-throat moments to be credible nonetheless. That's the cynical review, I guess. But this isn't some finely calibrated attempt at re-entering the mainstream. R.E.M. has long been characterized by a steadfast refusal to rest in a certain style. Each album has offered a departure from the last, sometimes a radical one - their breakthrough album, "Out of Time", was itself a bizarre detour. This time around, they've given the tracks a kind of folk-electronica lushness; tricked them out with keyboards and drum machines and pushed Peter Buck's guitars into the background for a change. There's also a renewed confidence and clarity in Stipe's foregrounded voice. Lyrically, there's an engaging fusion of the personal and political, with the themes of relationship breakdown (or false start) and self-discovery frequently doing double duty as political metaphors. It's refreshing that on an album full of love/hate songs and political musings R.E.M. hasn't just fallen back into what would have been the easy options - the chamber-pop aesthetic of "Automatic" or the rattling righteousness of "Document".

It isn't a total success, however. In some cases, the mix has dulled the passion and buffed off too many rough edges, almost to the point of inanity. "The Outsiders", while lyrically sinister, is too smooth to really get under your skin. "Aftermath", which might have been as crisp and joyous as any R.E.M.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Veritas on March 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Around the Sun has been met with mixed reviews. Either the listener is expecting something R.E.M. has done in the past or the listener is expecting to discover yet another facet of R.E.M., who has shown through the year they are anything but static. There are comprehensive reviews of the album available so I want to concentrate on why you should chose this edition over the standard CD issue, which many of you may already own.

The 5.1 sound of the re-issues has blown me away. If you are not the type of person to "experience" the music this may not be a must have. If, however, you are like me and enjoy listening to the music with the lights off and candles lit, you must experience the 5.1 sound as the subtle sounds come through adding another dimension to the album. ATS has not been out for very long and I was tempted to pass, but I do not regret the decision to purchase simply because of the clarity.

As for bonus materials, you get "LNY" and "Aftermath" videos, a very short 5 minute documentary, and live performace videos of "LNY" and "Imitation of Life."

Because "LNY" and "Aftermath" videos have not been released on DVD this adds to the incentive to pick up the CD-DVD-A.

I think this is a must buy if you do not have the CD and are looking to pick it up, even if you do not currently have 5.1 equipment.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gianmarco Manzione on October 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Though I warmed up to it after a few additional listens, I sympathize with complaints that this is a "dull" or monotonous record. As with REM's previous album, the songs on "Around The Sun" tend to melt into one another in a way that prevents any one song from lingering in the mind for very long. Stipe & Co. seem to hone in on a particular kind of sound and production these days that they cling to for dear life throughout the entire recording session, and this makes for work that is more challenging and subtle than, say, "Orange Crush" or "Losing My Religion." "Around The Sun" is indeed a remarkably boring first listen, but it is very kind to the patient fan, rewarding persistence with a surprising abundance of taut vocal hooks, engaging melodies and some arresting bursts of guitar from the usually reliable Mr. Buck. You've got to give this album at least a few spins before understanding it enough to pass judgement; the songs begin to stand out on their own and even Stipe's somewhat uninvolving vocals become more emotive and interesting (especially on "High Speed Train" and "Leaving New York"). At once hopeful and sincere, mature and compelling, "Around The Sun" comes across as precisely the kind of record one might expect from a post-Bill Berry REM in 2004, and that's not a bad thing.
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