with the exception of Around the Sun, I do not think R.E.M. has ever done anything dull. Around the Sun even has some great moments but I just do not think it lives up to the rest of their catalog. I personally agree with you that Up is my favorite post-Berry album. Heck, Up might be my favorite R.E.M. album from the 90s. But I do find myself with this uneasy feeling every time a new record is announced. Just like how I root for the Red Sox to win the World Series every year, I root for R.E.M. to even make it to a critics end of the year "Best of..." list. I thought Accelerate would have made some lists but it did not crack quite how I thought it would. Now with another album coming I find myself with the same anticipation. Will this album be the album to finally catapult R.E.M. back into critical acclaim or will this be another Accelerate that fans and critics will enjoy but seems to not add much to R.E.M.'s legacy. It's a scary thing being an R.E.M. but I think it is scary because we care so much.
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