Mr. Marrone released his response.
If you are still expecting R.E.M. to release flawless A-1 quality work, essential not only within their own catalogue but, by extension, within the rock music canon, you are, my friend, delusional.
No, Discoverer and It Happened Today are not mind-blowing works of pure genious. But they're halfway decent, which gives them a slight edge on George Harrison's highly acclaimed Cloud Nine album, despite the classic first single, I've Got My Mind Set On You, which admittedly, set the world on fire. And that gem of a record came out a mere 25 years after the Beatles first unleashed Please, Please Me unto the world.
And Leonard Cohen released ‘I’m Your Man’ 21 years and The Future, almost 25 years after his first album was released. Bob Dylan’s ‘Love and Theft’ came out almost 40 years after his first album. What is your point?
At what point do you say goodbye and not buy tickets for the tour, the collecting of the singles, the countdown of the album, .etc, a thing of the past, and respect the older work of R.E.M. and move on?
I’ve done the tour thing several times. I have watched Stipe shimmy up onstage but at what point do I have to hang it up? If they tour this time around do I go? At this point, probably not.
You are incorrect if you think that I am expecting a perfect album but at the same time the band itself set some pretty high standards and I am biased, I am not objective. I can take either one of those songs released in the last couple days and immediately compare it to the entire back catalog, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses on display. Most of all I am trying to gain something from it, gain something that makes me want to listen to the song over and over and over again and not just give the band a polite “Golf Clap”.
I question whether this blog will still be relevant in three months; if I shut the entire thing down in respect to the band that I remembered if the album’s not up to snuff.
Although I do promise you that if that day were to happen the title of the last story should be “That’s It’s I’m Shutting Down Remring”.