To some purists, R.E.M. began its decline when it finally relented and signed with major label Warner Bros. and released “Green” in 1988.
That is, of course, not true, as future albums “Out of Time,” “Automatic For the People,” “Monster” and “New Adventures in Hi-Fi” proved to become some of the greatest albums of the 1990s.
But “Green,” which is receiving a 25th anniversary deluxe edition (including a recording of the riveting penultimate concert of R.E.M.’s 130-date “Green” world tour), is much more uneven.
“Green” shows off its rocker muscle with “Orange Crush:” and “Turn You Inside Out,” gets more contemplative, acoustic and sublime on “You Are the Everything,” “World Leader Pretend,” and “The Wrong Child,” and the “hidden” track at the end of the album shows off singer Michael Stipe at his sweetest.
The rest of the album is forgettable, ranging from the tone-deaf irony of“Pop Song 89” to “Stand” and “Get Up” to “I Remember California.” Here is what I can’t wait for. I two years, we should get the 25th anniversary edition of “Out of Time.”
The reissue will be released on May 14 from Rhino Records.