"I would argue after listening to this album a couple times is that it would probably not be as much a "Return to Form" or their "Classic Sound" but a band that is breaking with it's fans and moving onto a younger generation or a different generation."
Absolutely. I may care to elaborate my feelings once my 'piss-offness' recedes. It is insulting to be fed on marketing lies. I'll take the shit from Warners (ha, they get paid for it), from friends and colleagues (Ken Stringfellow et al) but not from the band themselves. Unless their capacity to discern shit from shinola has been severely impaired.
It shouldn't be this way, but as a longtime 'fan' I would be utterly embarrassed to listen to 'Walk It Back' or 'Everyday is Yours To Win' again, as I would with 'Beachball' or 'Wanderlust' to name only two... I guess we all stagnate with time.
I wonder how 'Collapse Into Now' will be seen in the future, once the general sycophancy in the fan-forums clears, and the media stops copying and pasting press-releases into their own reviews. Perhaps if R.E.M. "graciously" bows out we will all be more forgiving. At the moment, this one challenges Around The Sun in the amount of duff tracks, and at least I can say I enjoyed ATS for a little while. As per 'Collapse...', it may be the Final Straw indeed.
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