They're only "two weeks away" from finishing recording, according to frontman Michael Stipe...

R.E.M are only two weeks away from completing their new album, and will return to the US to add the final touches, according to reports coming from IRELAND.

According to a report on the Irish website, REM vocalist Michael Stipe has indicated the follow-up to their 1998 record ‘Up’, which is currently being recorded in Dublin, is only “two weeks away” from completion.

It is said the band then intend to regroup in their home state of Georgia to put the final touches to the record, which is expected to be released in the spring of 2001.

A UK spokesperson for R.E.M was unavailable to confirm the report.

R.E.M‘s manager Bertis Downs has previously described the band’s new material as “lush, melodic and atmospheric”. He said: “The music sounds great. Everyone is in excellent spirits, and the weather is fine as well. What more could one ask?”