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May 21, 2001 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2001-05-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Bowled over ...
Uma Thuran (a.k.a. Mrs. Ethan Hawke)
stars in "The Golden Bowl" based on Henry
James' novel. Starts at The Michigan Theater
on Friday.


MAY 21, 2001 10

TextriLack of originality
detental to Excfter

Reveal, R.E. M.; WEA/Warner
By Nicholas Harp
For the Daily
Call them legen d at-rock
ancles, call them usedp umillion-
aires, call them downr alien in a
pop music world reae with bub-
blegum Britneys and Backstreet
Boys; just don't call R E M compla-
Refusing to rest on ther musical
laurels, the Athens, (roa-based
trio has invented an a-vented
themselves time and -t, over the
tourse of their 20 , - o.nd-still-
counting career.
R.E.M. has mad r-a- out of
staying - even dse ly - new,
and found their w a n and then

sometimes out) of just about every-
body's record collection. Their
twelfth LP effort, Reveal, furthers
their reputation as a band in con-
stant flux and reformation.
Reveal finds R.E.M. dispensing
with Up's sometimes random-feeling
pastiche of styles and nestling com-
fortably in a summery, ethereal
reverie. A richly textured string sec-
tion underscores a menagerie of vin-
tage synthesizer and ambient loop
effects, piano chatter, Buena Vista
Social horns, heavy tremolo, heavier
reverb, Brazilian guitar licks and
unconventional Beach Boys-induced
time signatures.
If things weren't aurally dense
enough, Michael Stipe offers some
of his most portentous and lush
lyrics to date. The musical effect is
peculiarly hyperbolic, as if the band

dutifully consulted an exhaustive
rock and roll thesaurus between
recording sessions.
Sometimes this cacophonous lay-
ering works beautifully; it's hard to
resist the way Mike Mills' agile bass
lines and Peter Buck's pithy guitar
match Stipe's caterwauling. Desire-
anthems like "I've Been High" and
"Beat a Drum" manage to sound
gorgeous and moving, even if the
words ("This is all I want/It's all I
need," on the latter) come something
short of Blood on the Tracks. At
their best, the 12 songs on Reveal
See R.E.M., Page 12

Exciter, Depeche Mode; Reprise
By Erik Johnson
Daily Arts Writer
Depeche Mode should stop mak-
ing music now. They don't have any-
thing new to say or anything
interesting to offer musically.
Exciter, the group's fifteenth release
(including 1 live and 2 "singles"
records), is unremarkable from
beginning to end. There are high-
lights, but they are few and even far-
ther between. It's amazing, and sad
really, to see such a long-running
and successful group come out with
an album like this.
The record starts with the first
single, "Dream On." The lyrics on
this one aren't too bad: "Paying a
debt to karma/You party for a liv-

ing/What you take won't I
you/But careful what you're givin
The rest of the song, though, is p:
ty mediocre. The music, wh
catchy at first, quickly becon
monotonous. "Dream On" has
work cut out for it as a promotie
Once upon a time, Depeche N'
wrote excellent songs, which co

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