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Review of R.E.M.’s “Accelerate” Vinyl Reissue (2023) by Craft

R.E.M.’s 2008 album “Accelerate” has always been hailed as a triumphant return to form for the American alternative rock band. Its raw energy, political undertones, and catchy hooks captured the essence of what R.E.M. stood for. And now, in 2023, we have been blessed with a vinyl reissue of this iconic album by Craft Recordings, reminding us of the band’s unparalleled talent and their impact on the music industry.

Craft Recordings has done an exceptional job with this reissue. The vinyl edition of “Accelerate” comes as a beautifully packaged double LP, meticulously pressed on 180-gram vinyl. The attention to detail is commendable, with an eye-catching gatefold sleeve and high-quality artwork that captures the essence of the original release. Additionally, the sound quality of this reissue is outstanding, allowing listeners to immerse themselves in the full sonic experience that R.E.M. intended for their fans.

The album itself is a sonic journey, showcasing R.E.M.’s knack for crafting memorable songs. From the explosive opening track, “Living Well Is the Best Revenge,” to the contemplative yet powerful closer, “Until the Day Is Done,” “Accelerate” is a cohesive body of work that never loses momentum. The band sounds rejuvenated and ready to make a statement, delivering an album that is spirited, urgent, and relevant.

One of the highlights of this reissue is the inclusion of bonus material. Craft Recordings has gone the extra mile by including a whole disc of live recordings from the time of the album’s release. This adds a new dimension to the listening experience, giving fans the opportunity to witness R.E.M.’s electrifying performances. Notable live tracks include “So. Central Rain” and “Driver 8,” showcasing the band’s ability to captivate a crowd with their infectious energy.

Lyrically, “Accelerate” delves into socio-political themes, tackling topics like war, corruption, and social unrest. Michael Stipe’s distinctive vocals convey a sense of urgency and frustration, creating a powerful and reflective atmosphere. Tracks like “Houston” and “Man-Sized Wreath” are hard-hitting and evocative, with Stipe’s passionate delivery driving home the messages within.

R.E.M.’s “Accelerate” remains relevant even after its initial release, and this vinyl reissue from Craft Recordings serves as a reminder of the band’s lasting impact. It encapsulates a moment in time when R.E.M. reclaimed their position as one of the most important rock bands of their generation. Whether you are a long-time fan or a newcomer to their music, this reissue is a must-have piece for any music lover’s collection.

Overall, the vinyl reissue of R.E.M.’s “Accelerate” by Craft Recordings is a triumph. The attention to detail in packaging, the exceptional sound quality, and the inclusion of compelling bonus material make this an essential release. It allows fans to reconnect with R.E.M.’s music in a way that is both nostalgic and refreshing. So, don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience one of the band’s most dynamic and influential albums in a whole new light.

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