Music: Up: R.E.M.

R.E.M.

Rock drummers are like car tires: they're regularly replaced, but you won't get far if you're missing one. Up is R.E.M.'s first album since the band's longtime drummer, Bill Berry, left the group; his absence is present on more than a few tracks. The remaining three members try to make do with drum machines, but the results often lack kick. Nonetheless, singer Michael Stipe is in fine form, and his lyrics are typically haunting and nuanced (a complete lyric sheet is included for the first time). The focus here is on delicately constructed ballads, and several of the songs have the...

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