Album Review: R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now

By on Monday, 7th March 2011 at 12:00 pm

Words by John Fernandez

From the first minute of album opener ‘Discoverer’ to the final beats of ‘Blue’, ‘Collapse into Now’ could not have been written by any other band then R.E.M. It’s an album that you are going to find difficult at first, as there is no doubt and it is for sure one that needs to be listened to as a whole. Listen to a track on its own and well prepare for disappointment: there are no ‘Man in the Moon’s or ‘Losing My Religion’s here. No, this is something different, this is a record that needs to be listened from start to finish, and when you do, you will be rewarded with something special. You will be witness to a band doing exactly what they have done for 14 albums once more and that, my friend, is something beautiful.

‘Collapse Into Now’ starts slowly with opening tune ‘Discoverer’, a song that just makes you want to shout out, before roaring into ‘All the Best’. The relentless pace of ‘All the Best’ serves as a build-up to the rest of the album and in my opinion is the best standalone track on the record. I t’s one of those tracks that you just don’t expect from R.E.M and is even more reason why even after over 25 years in the business, it’s easy to see they are as full of energy as they ever were.

‘Überlin’ is easy to digest; it isn’t anything groundbreaking but has an uplifting quality that only Michael Stipe’s beautiful vocals can create, when he breaks into the chorus “he’s flying on a meteor tonight, he’s flying on a star”, you really feel like you’re being taken away to a different place. Songs like radio single ‘Mine Smell Like Honey’ and ‘It Happened Today’ are trademark R.E.M. and really broadcast what is good about this album. They have catchy lyrics, great pace and that feeling of grandeur that makes R.E.M’s album different from everything else out there.

I definitely felt like this album was something special from the start, but it is at the end that it really shows its true colours, no pun intended. ‘Blue’ starts off as a mind boggling spoken word number. It’s haunting but at the same time it sounds special, it sounds beautiful. Then it evolves and turns into something else entirely, a fitting end to an outstanding album.


‘Collapse Into Now’ is out today (7 March).

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One Response

12:22 pm
10th March 2011

Read my full review of ‘Collapse Into Now’ here:

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