Although better than the Up album, Reveal has the tone of a band still mourning the decision of a well respected drummer to quit after twenty years and a brain aneurysm.

-Review by Bob Messer

This page was created on June 28, 2001
and was last updated on June 22, 2005


CD information

Well, it has been a long time since 1983 and U2- oops!.. I mean R.E.M. has been through many changes. From a little IRS demo called Chronic Town to their new album Reveal, R.E.M. has proved worthy of turning out some of the best emo-rock through the better part of the eighties all the way to the new millennium.

Their new CD Reveal takes one into a somber state of thought. Breaking the pattern in intervals with medium to up tempo songs throughout the disc. Although better than the Up album, Reveal has the tone of a band still mourning the decision of a well respected drummer to quit after twenty years and a brain aneurysm.

The overall mix is good. Stipe's vocals seem to be right out front at times, but as usual he mumbles here and there. Different effects are melded well into the music provided by guitars and keyboards. At time it shows off the constant ingenuity of a well oiled band. Now lets see what R.E.M. sez this time around.

Track one The Lifting appears to be about someone lifting out of their mind. I could be way off base, but this song suggests a sort of hypnotherapy of some kind. "Your counselor agrees, you've always marked these boundaries, now your free."

I've Been High sounds like life's highs and lows. I especially like the phrase, "Make my make-believe believe in me."

All The Way To Reno is a mid-tempo happy song of sorts. The whole song seems to be a metaphor about someone making it in the world, their own way. "You've written your own directions and whistled the rules of chance."

She Just Wants To Be is a very poetic song about a girl who just wants to be somewhere other than she is in here station of life. I really dig the melding of vocal and acoustic guitar.

Some of the songs on Reveal are poetic in nature. Disappear is one of those. Instead of analyzing the words, I urge you (the music listener) to form your own opinion here. Oh I'm not saying to run out and buy this CD, But if you get a chance, listen to the lyrics of this song.

Unfortunately Saturn Return seems to be the musical downer of the album. It also appears to be another song about wanting to escape the current position of one's life.

Beat A Drum is a dreamy tale of acknowledging the fact that we are not perfect. To realize that we constantly grow through life. "Don't forget, we're just halfway to coal."

Imitation Of Life is the CDs major up-lifter. A pop song of reassurance. The first single too.

Summer Turns To High is a beach boy ballad sounding tune about the joys summer can bring. "Offer wine and nectarines, the fireflies and time moves like syrup through the evening with a sweet resign."

If you have this CD, listen to Chorus And The Ring. E-mail me on this site with your comments if you'd like.

It is not too often you catch a love song from Stipe, but we seem to have one here. I'll Take The Rain is a captivating song about lost love.

Beachball ends this record with a groovy 60's feel. Night-life on a weekend party beach is just about all this song boasts. Surf's up tonight!

R.E.M. is still Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe. This album was produced by Pat McCarthy and R.E.M. It was recorded in studios throughout Vancouver, Athens, Dublin, and Miami; which could explain all the summer and beach referrals.
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Lifting shadows off a dream once broken,

List Of Songs (MP3 downloads):
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
5. Disappear
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
12. Beachball

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Watch R.E.M. QuickTime videos
Radio Free Europe
So. Central Rain
Can't Get There From Here
Driver 8
Life and How to Live it
The End of the World as we Know it


R.E.M. Reveal © 2001 Warner Bros. . All Rights Reserved.