R.E.M. were a band I listened to heavily in early high school (shout to Cory Stafford for the intro and my favorite record store of all time Murmur in Orlando) then pretty much abandoned once hip-hop took over my ears. I’ve given Life’s Rich Pageant (my favorite album of theirs) a few reminisce spins over the years but it’s been some time since I really revisited their music. The recently released anthology Part Lies… was a nice reintroduction. The sound quality is a vast improvement over the murky originals and the band did a great job curating the list, grabbing all the essentials along with a few forgotten gems. There is some later stuff I could do without but overall this is a necessary library upgrade for anyone with even a passing interest in their music. I’m actually very impressed with how well most of it stands up and this collection helps make a very strong case for R.E.M. being one of the most important bands of their era.

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