As far as choruses and drum-beats go, REM’s Reveal is a small step down from Up. That’s despite the titles of the first two songs, which, metaphorically speaking, seem to imply further artistic elevation. High, with a dreamy snare and hazy chords, conjures 1980s Phil Collins. And that’s a good thing. But The Lifting, even with a rhythm section pleasantly reminiscent of Can You Feel It by The Jacksons, never really gets off the sandy ground.
Yes, there’s a Beautiful beach-boy ballad on the last album, but this entire Reveal has a warm summer atmosphere going for it. There’s a Beachball flying thru the sky. And the shiniest gem; Beat A Drum; has the blinding sun reflecting in the back of Michael Stipe’s eye. Cool in contrast are the spacey sound effects on the group’s Saturn Return, which throws what sounds like a referee’s whistle into the mix, and the album’s Rain song.
my rating = 3 of 5