CD Review: R.E.M.

Reckoning: Deluxe Edition
By David Chiu

Following in the same vein of last year’s reissue of Murmur, R.E.M.s 1984 second album Reckoning is being given the similar deluxe treatment featuring both the original album and a previously unreleased live concert. Sure Reckoning had the misfortune of having to following-up the great Murmur album. However, it also held its own just fine, containing several tracks that would become R.E.M. favorites: the slightly punkish “Pretty Persuasion,” the lovely “So. Central Rain,” and the folky “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville.” The album also has some underrated songs including the poppy and energetic “Harborcoat,” the up-tempo “7 Chinese Brothers,” and “Time After Time,” which has a somewhat Middle Eastern feel. The second disc on the reissue is a pretty good live R.E.M. performance featuring a majority of Reckoning’s cuts, along with older songs “Radio Free Europe,” “Gardening at Night” and “9-9,” and a soulful rendition of the Velvet Underground’s “Femme Fatale.”


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