Wrinkles In Time

Thanks to friend and frequent blog commenter Dave, I found out about the new R.E.M. video above, "Supernatural Superserious," the first single from their upcoming April 1 release, Accelerate. The album is getting good buzz, including a four-star rave from Rolling Stone and a shimmering cover story in this month's Spin, and the song confirms the hype. It sounds a little like a track from Monster-- it has that record's mix of fuzzy guitars and cleanly produced vocals, but thankfully lacks its melodramatic bombast. Instead, there's a charmingly bubblegum propulsion to the song, its stop-and-start guitars, chunky drums and playful alliteration all combining to cast an ironic glance at its characters' pasts: with its humor and pop sheen filtering out the bitterness, it kind of sounds like "Like A Rolling Stone," if that song were recorded by the Monkees instead of Bob Dylan. And the video is a nice complement to the song's tale of wasted pasts and getting older: its charm lies in the band's utter lack of vanity, their willingness to show off their wrinkles and their proudly archaic sense of hipster cool. As they haunt Lower East Side guitar shops, laugh at each other's jokes and smile for the camera, they radiate the sense of a band that's been through a lot and come out intact, their personal and political and critical scars on display for everyone to see. Stripped of their glamour, R.E.M. looks more glamourous than ever.


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