Release Date: Oct 29, 2021
Record label: Warner Bros.
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Buy New Adventures in Hi-Fi [25th Anniversary Edition] from Amazon
At what point is a band officially cursed? R.E.M.'s 1995 world tour, a grueling 11-month sojourn that was also their first tour in six years, certainly made them appear so. At a show in Switzerland, drummer Bill Berry suffered a brain aneurysm and collapsed onstage. A few months later, just as Berry had recovered enough to drum with the band again, singer Michael Stipe and bassist Mike Mills each required surgery for different ailments.
R.E.M.'s tenth overall album and their fourth in a succession of '90s masterworks beginning with Out of Time, 1996's New Adventures in Hi-Fi incorporated the best of the group's previous releases into a single moody exploration of the modern West in its imperial twilight. Whatever approaches may not have succeeded on the previous year's Monster or the preceding Automatic for the People are perfected here, blending the band's penchant for raw Americana, stadium-ready glam rock, and avant-garde artiness into a single concoction that overshadows many of their previous efforts. Reissued for its 25th anniversary by Craft Recordings, R.E.M.'s subtle '90s masterwork has made a triumphant return, with something to offer listeners both old and new.
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