R.E.M.: Reveal

We are told that the critics are united in their acclaim for this "return to form" album. Let us analyse this "return to form" by imagining Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills not as a big rich rock band, but as a share owned company. Let us assume that shares prices in REM are directly comparable to the quality of their output since releasing their first album (or floating on the stock exchange, if we are to continue to indulge my analogy). By examining the share price over the last 15 years we can clearly see a gradual rise in value starting in the mid 80's. We then observe a substantial increase in stock value in 1991 coinciding with the release of "Out Of Time". We can then see a further rise in 1993 (Automatic for the People). With the benefit of hindsight we can now see that this would have been the time to sell, as share prices were at their highest peak. We then experience a slight dip in 1994 (Monster), and a gradual decline in the latter half of the nineties after Bill Berry's retirement. By looking at the up-to date graph we can indeed see that the share prices have rallied considerably at the end of the second quarter of 2001. It is still however somewhat shy of the heady early 90's price. Can we predict that this upturn in the market will allow continued sustained growth into the next financial year and beyond? Well, frankly, no, we can predict that the current up turn in their market price is likely to be a temporary one by comparing it with similar trends derived from anlyses of U2 Ltd. and INXS.com who have since gone into liquidation. So far all I have managed to establish is that it's pretty good, but not as good as their peak. This leaves me very little room left to articulate on the music itself and more to the point, what it actually sounds like. Well that can be done quite easily, it sounds exactly like REM, and if you don't know what that sounds like by now then its probably too late to start worrying about it.