michael gallucci

ALBUM REVIEW — R.E.M.

In album review on 07/01/2011 at 11:38 am

R.E.M.

Lifes Rich Pageant: 25th Anniversary Edition

(Capitol/I.R.S.)

R.E.M.’s terrific fourth album is usually lost in the shuffle between 1985’s meh Fables of the Reconstruction and 1987’s commercial breakthrough Document. Too bad, since some of the band’s best songs – “Begin the Begin,” “Fall on Me,” “I Believe” – are here. This two-disc 25th anniversary edition adds 19 demos R.E.M. laid down in their hometown of Athens, Georgia, including a few (“Bad Day,” “Wait”) that never made it on to their official albums. But it’s the remastered Lifes Rich Pageant that deserves another listen. Fables was a dark, moody exploration of the band’s southern roots; on Pageant they get back to the turbocharged indie hooks that made them college radio’s biggest group back in the day. Rich indeed.

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