March 7th, 2011

This IS me (by schwitters)Default

Collapse Into Now

I rushed out at lunchtime to purchase the new R.E.M. album, Collapse Into Now.

I had already listened to the whole thing as a free online preview, but that couldn't compare to the excitement of actually owning it. (This is why my home is filling up with CDs even as most people I know are downsizing to an external hard drive filled with music.)

Like most of their albums, it fits together nicely, with a style that harks back to previous offerings but is enough of its own thing to allow easy identification of the album to which a track belongs.

I find their songs increasingly self-referential, taking little motifs and phrases from earlier albums. This time round, 'Oh My Heart' is clearly a sequel to Accelerate's 'Houston', both musically and lyrically.

You have to be careful, though; it would be easy to drive yourself nuts looking for keywords ('honey'; 'alligator') and trying to divine their significance.

From the first couple of listens, this is my favourite. 'ÜBerlin':

Hey now, take your pills and
Hey now, make your breakfast
Hey now, comb your hair and off to work...

...I know, I know, I know what I am chasing
I know, I know, I know that this is changing me...