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Fables of the Reconstruction (Capitol)

The third full-length from Berry, Buck, Mills and Stipe came out 25 years ago. Since 1985, the inversions of image and phrase (beginning with the album title’s alternate reading as Reconstruction of the Fables), the deceivingly simple melodies and beautiful pop-vocal harmonies have been ringing like bells in the dark. There’s a sense that REM went from boys to men on this record. They were figuring shit out about their sound (the demo disc holds clues to Life’s Rich Pageant), about America, about big ideas like time and distance which are, indeed, “out of place here.”

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