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There may not be any great radical progression, and maybe we’d be wrong to expect such a thing from a band edging towards their fourth decade together, but Collapse Into Now does suggest that REM are touching base with many of the past elements that made them so exciting in the first place.
By stopping off at so many musical map pins from their long history, REM are wilfully challenging anyone, fans or critics, to find a tidy pigeon hole in which to place their latest album.
It’s a dizzying and disparate ride, no one style or direction taking precedence over another, but the songs hang together surprisingly well, and, as Mills claimed in the weeks before its released, it "makes sense as a whole".
REM mean many things to many people, and just about all of them are catered for here.
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