Currently Digging: R.E.M. – Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage

R.E.M. doesn’t exactly have a prolific career; after all, they were around for thirty years and gave us fifteen fair-to-classic albums in that time. Ryan Adams is prolific, Paul McCartney is VERY prolific, Bradford Cox is becoming prolific. R.E.M. are merely consistent…..speaking in terms of level of output. The sound of that output, however, has been anything BUT consistent. One listen to this career-spanning anthology will give you an idea of just how many curveballs the Athens-based group threw at their fans.

What’s remarkable about this compilation, now that the band is officially through and we can observe their legacy as a whole, is, even though it highlights the ups and downs of a legendary band’s career, the whole thing is GREAT. Like, really, really great. Even tracks from lackluster points (Up, Reveal, Around the Sun) sound appropriate, and remarkably sharp, in this context. And of course, the major hits are here, surrounded by strong tracks from incredible albums. I think it’s apparent everything R.E.M. put out up through New Adventures In Hi-Fi is just fantastic. With the exception of “A Month of Saturdays,” the new tracks are great examples of a band who have aged well and matured their songwriting to levels of sheer beauty.

Consider Part Lies a testament to the immense songwriting talent in R.E.M., a band that was great even when they had been better before. And consider Part Lies a musical reminder to all of us that we really don’t know what we have until it’s gone.

One Response to “Currently Digging: R.E.M. – Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage”

Leave a Reply