Reading Ethan Kaplan's post on Murmurs about how this is the best reviewed album since Hi-Fi is at best just propaganda and maybe a bit of revisionism.
Now reviews are a bit of a failure to begin with. Many times, it's a critics intial opinion about an album when it is released. They often do not have time to completely digest an album and at times those feelings could change dramatically as to whether the album has initial pleasures and feels a bit old after a year or so or whether the album slowly begins to grow and develop over time. We are all guilty as music lovers of knowing that tastes change both for the better and worse.
Now the reviews for R.E.M.'s albums in the 21st Century can all be found here and it's telling that 'Collapse Into Now' is currently in 3rd place among studio albums (although presently this could change as reviews are still coming in). Out of all the albums, Accelerate appears to be the clear winner and it's telling that it received quite a few outstanding reviews whereas Collapse has received several "Good" reviews.
I think the statistics speak for themselves, however, I do think it is a bit bothersome to see a site become the "Fox News" of R.E.M fandom.
It's only a test of time whether we can say whether an album will become better, worse or stay the same but one thing for sure is that it is (as of writing this) undeniably not the best reviewed album since New Adventures.