Anyone who gave R.E.M. Live, a show from Dublin, an open-minded and close listen heard a group firing on every fuckin' cylinder. Whatever was happening on that tour was preserved and imported into a Vancouver studio for Accelerate. The Rickenbacker-guitar-backed first single "Supernatural Superserious" is a lean three minutes or so of brilliance, though "Accelerate" ranks up there with "Orange Crush" as R.E.M.'s most muscular work. "Until the Day is Done" is as stirring as "King of Birds," "Perfect Circle" or "Swan Swan H." There are gestures to previous albums that longtime fans will enjoy picking out, but this album, for anybody, stands alone and tall.
Sean Flinn

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