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R.E.M.: In Time. The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003

David Stubbs, Uncut, January 2004

THIS COLLECTION spans the past 15 years and features songs covered extensively in the November 2003 issue of Uncut. There are few surprises, not least the omission of the unloved 'Shiny Happy People' However, the now-common device of a non-chronological arrangement here serves to emphasise both R.E.M.'s consistency and constancy, in quality and recurring themes. The publicity blitz surrounding this album has had the welcome effect of returning to the centre stage a band who have gradually (wilfully?) slid into a twilight zone since themid-'90s.

Total word count of piece: 496

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