'Stipe and the boys stick largely to the classics'

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REM: 'REM Live'

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REM: ‘REM Live’

It’s been over 10 years since REM released any new material worthy of their previously enviable canon (see the IRS years) but, luckily, Stipe and the boys seem to realise this and stick largely to the classics and older slices of minor-key pop genius on this live album. Recorded over the course of two Dublin gigs in 2005, we’re treated to none-too-shabby performances of the obvious lighter-wavers (‘The One I Love’, ‘Losing My Religion’, ‘Everybody Hurts’ and ‘Man On The Moon’) as well as several lesser-known wonders, including a rocked-up take on ‘Green’ favourite ‘Orange Crush’ and an airing of the sublime ‘Cuyahoga’ from underrated 1986 release ‘Life’s Rich Pageant’. They do, however, lose marks for inflicting the likes of ‘Electron Blue’ and ‘Ascent Of Man’ from 2004’s awful ‘Around The Sun’ on our ears, but at least there’s no ‘Shiny Happy People’.


Rob Webb