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Reveal

3.8 out of 5 stars 435 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 15, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of rock's most popular and respected bands, R.E.M. opens another chapter in it's acclaimed history with Reveal, it's first album in nearly three years. Riding the cutting edge and yet still R.E.M. rock, moody yet more uplifting than 1998's gold-certified Up, Reveal is the latest musical revelation from R.E.M. Certified Gold by the RIAA. (6/01)

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R.E.M. have no right at this advanced stage in their career to be making such a spirited and beautiful album as Reveal. Twenty years after "Radio Free Europe," they're still jiggy as year-old pups. Reveal is the sound of a band that's beyond feeling the need to change or to prove themselves to each new generation, but retains its passion. Michael Stipe's voice is at its most evocatively beautiful on "I've Been High," and Peter Buck's eclectic tunes continue along the highly accessible vein mined on 1998's Up. Stipe continues his emergence as an up-front vocalist whose lyrics, if never entirely self-explanatory, now make ingenious use of more readily identifiable phrases, images, and vignettes. Hovering over much of the album is the spirit of Brian Wilson, whose genius is echoed in "Beachball" and almost transcended in the astonishingly plangent "Summer Turns to High." With so much to live up to, it's not far short of astonishing that R.E.M. can still come up with a song such as the gorgeously chiming and shimmering "Imitation of Life," which, on its own, is worth the price of admission. But, from the first synthesizer swirls of the opener "The Lifting" onward, there's nary a dud to be heard on Reveal. --Johnny Black
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 15, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Concord Records
  • ASIN: B00005BL29
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (435 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,182 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Adam Pawlowski on May 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I can't believe there are people out there who consider themselves "hardcore" REM fans and think this album is horrible. Their unwillingness to let go of the past scares me. Look, people, it will never be 1986 again, you will never be a sophomore in high school, etc. Frankly, very few people possess the insight and the knowledge to judge an album accurately right out of the box. Time needs to pass. REM are smart musicians who live in the present and continue their explorations in music. This is where they are, this is the kind of album they wanted to make. So it doesn't rock, so what? Right now, REVEAL sounds like a great album to me-it's beautiful, articulate, and cohesive. (We'll see in 5 years if it's a classic.) There are some gorgeous pieces of melody here: "I've been high", "All the way to Reno", "Imitation of life", "The Lifting", the list goes on. A couple of songs "revealed" themselves to me only after several listens. I find "The Chorus and the ring" in particular to be an effective, haunting song with strange "medieval" overtones to it. I can't think of another song quite like it.
It's too bad REM's time as the "it" boys has passed, because it means that radio will wholeheartedly ignore this album, and most people out there will not be really exposed to it.
Oh, and the Bill Berry dilemma. Similar situation is currently plaguing another resilient band Depeche Mode (in that case, long time fans mourn the absence of Alan Wilder the "sound architect", in REM's case Bill was the "soul of the band"). To an extent, I can see the point in both cases. But I have to ask again, why not let go of the past and enjoy both bands' current vision? REVEAL is the music for now-connect with it, make new memories. In the year 2015 some of you will criticize the new REM album and remember the good old days of REVEAL. Relax, please and enjoy. I do.
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Format: Audio CD
After the release of Automatic For The People,R.E.M. were probably considered along with U2 to be one of the premier rock acts in the world.Three subsequent albums and they found their place had been taken by harder hitting rock acts and a world taken over by dance music.Very much like U2's last release this album will see R.E.M. gaining the ultimate triumph-they've seen off the 90's pretenders and are now set to return to the top of the rock tree.For this is easily their best work in nearly a decade.
On reading the first reviews of this c.d. I sort of had the impression that it was going to be their most commercial work yet.The first magnificent single Imitation Of Life had an instant appeal for me and I expected each subsquent album track to be the same.Well I was totally wrong.There are no other tracks with that sort of instant appeal-but give this c.d. a few listens and you discover tracks of great depth,songs that have an upbeat almost summer feel to them and yes their most accesible work in years.Yeah I think this album will be huge and the main reason for this is that there are no dud tracks,no over-indulgent experiments-just good quality songs that epitomised R.E.M.'s early work and that you'd get on 50% of the tracks on Monster,New Adventures... and Up! Track one starts this c.d. off in great style-the most immediate thing to notice is the use of swirling synths and Stipe sounding in great form.It's the sort of song that makes you think "oh this is a return to what they do best".Track 2 is a really beautiful atmostpheric track-people have compared this to Massive Attack or Portishead.Once again there is very little guitar here-synths and drum machines give this ballad a mininmalist feel .
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Format: Audio CD
This album marks 20 years since the release of the EP "Chronic Town," and 18 since "Murmur" started the career of some the finest musicians the world would ever see. They accomplished a lot along the way; taking new paths, going against the grain, changing styles.
With their niche in the music scene well-worn, you would think it's time to give it a rest; just give the fans what they expect to hear and they'll buy it anyway, because it says REM on the label. But Stipe and the boys show what true musicianship is.
I, for one, expected a repeat of the epic "New Adventures in the Hi-Fi" or the somber style of "Up." But they are changing themselves again. "Reveal" could be played start to finish on an elevator or in a grocery store. And despite the fluffy, mellowness of the tracks, they mesh with REM's unique style. Otherwise it could become quite boring, but REM shows how adventerous quiet can be.
"The Lifting" (opener) is one of the greatest tracks in years for the band. Stellar and creative, with the patented Micheal Stipe vocals. "All the Way to Reno" smells like a single, and sounds a little like REM of the past; would fit on "Hi-Fi." "Imitiaions of Life," almost left off because of its unwillingness mesh with the rest of the record, is one of the best singles the band has released in the last decade. Soft but exciting, and with OUTSTANDING lyrics (Stipe's poetic ability is sadly overlooked). The last track, "Beachball" has got some attention from critics, saying it sounds like it's influenced by the Beach Boys. I disagree. I think they are BECOMING the Beach Boys; but it sounds so good that I don't care.
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