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REM: Reveal (Warner Bros.)

The Rev. Al Friston, Rock's Backpages, December 2001

REVEAL IS, well, a revelation — especially for anyone as weary of the bogus and posturing Michael Stipe as this writer is. After the band’s essentially unconvincing work on New Adventures in Hi-Fi and Up, Reveal is loaded with golden loveliness at every twist and turn. Sacred cows R.E.M. aren’t giants and never have been, but Peter Buck and Mike Mills are genuine talents whose best pieces not even Stipe can spoil with his lazy lyrics and desperately pedestrian vocal lines. The first half ("Chorus Side") is pretty good, but the second ("Ring Side") is a small miracle. Following up on the sublime Brian Wilson homage that was Up’s ‘At My Most Beautiful’, this one’s ‘Summer Turns to High’ is more beautiful still.

Total word count of piece: 124


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