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R.E.M.: Automatic For The People

David Cavanagh, Select, November 1992

REM'S LATEST COLLECTION is a miraculously stripped-to-the-bone celebration of the sorrowful.

It's here. It's ready. And it makes Out Of Time look like a collection of rather good B-sides. The first thing to stress about Automatic For The People (what a title!) is that everything you know is not enough. Out Of Time, it's now clear, was only one stop-off point on a long journey that REM are taking through music and history and time. If you thought Out Of Time was downbeat, wait till you hear this. It's long. slow, melancholy and far too beautiful to deal with all at once.

Total word count of piece: 971

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