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By Rob Selina
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REM Reckoning

Compact Disc CD: Mo-Fi MFSL UDCD 677 Compact Disc

  I consider R.E.M. the most consistently popular band of the eighties. Other bands were more popular for brief periods of time, but they all faded away eventually. The fact that R.E.M. stuck around and is still producing great music today speaks volumes.

Reckoning is the follow up to Murmur that earned R.E.M. a name back in 1983. Murmur was quite a break through commercially, and had a fresh sound at the same time. Reckoning isn't so fortunate. The band's folk rock sound is alive and well in Reckoning, but the album fails to break new ground for the band. Don't get me wrong, it's a very good album, but it doesn't have the exceptional status that Murmur has.

Despite it's shortcomings, Reckoning does have a couple of exceptional songs. My favorite would have to be "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville." It's a great song with a country-ish acoustic folk sound. Others that show merit are the single "Southern Central Rain," the upbeat "Second Guessing" and the soulful ballad "Camera."

Sonically, the album is exceptional. Remastered using MFSL Gain I system, ambiance and fine details are audible. The imaging is tight and the soundscape deep and relatively wide. The dynamic range of the recording is especially impressive allowing me to hear some very deep and tight notes. The upper frequencies are also accurately portrayed with a smooth and refined sound.

Reckoning is a good album, but it just doesn't have the exceptional status some of R.E.M.'s other music has. If another less talented band had made it, I might be a little more impressed, but we always expect more from those who give more. If you don't have much of R.E.M.'s earlier music, skip this and go straight to Murmur. Otherwise, check this one is worth checking out. 

Enjoyment: 84
Sound Quality: 91











































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