R.E.M.'s twelfth album proper coming out 15 May 2001 in the U.S. Early reports have drawn comparisons to the group's 1992 classic Automatic for the People. Band manager Bertis Downs describes the sound of the album as "lush and melodic." Some describe the sounds as summer-like.
This comes after 1998's Up--the group's grandest foray into experimental sounds. While some may have hoped that the band would continue down the path of experimentation, early releases on the Internet show the album having more of the rock flavor found in earlier works. However, strings and keyboards are also prevalent.
Bono of U2 is amazed by the album, calling it "extraordinary" and saying he "felt ill" upon hearing it. "It's a very beautiful, awe-inspiring record. R.E.M. is a force."
The first single is Imitation of Life with a video of the one-shot variety where the camera never switches views. A monkey and Michael Stipe's uncatagorizable dancing are there. While comparisons of this song to The Great Beyond are obvious, most of the album doesn't follow this trend.
1. The Lifting
2. I've Been High
3. All the Way to Reno (You're gonna be a star)
4. She Just Wants to Be
6. Saturn Return
7. Beat a Drum
8. Imitation of Life
9. Summer Turns to High
10. Chorus and the Ring
11. I'll Take the Rain