Around The Sun

Around The Sun Image
Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 103 Ratings

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  • Summary: 'Sun' is the 13th studio disc for R.E.M., who are joined here by frequent collaborators Ken Stringfellow and Scott McCaughey. Q-Tip also guest raps on "The Outsiders."

Top Track

Aftermath
Now the radio stutters, snaps to life. Some sour song that sets it right. And when London falls He'd like to call But the stars collide. They're... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 27
  2. Negative: 3 out of 27
  1. As the songs unfold over multiple listens, though, what becomes clear is that R.E.M. still has plenty to say, and plenty of interesting ways to say it.
  2. R.E.M. still have the remarkable distinction of never once producing a bad album, but this is perhaps the biggest example yet of the group merely treading water, whereas once they majestically swam.
  3. Unfortunately, things do go awry more than a few times.
  4. Its sporadic pockets of accessibility aside, it's difficult to listen to Around the Sun without hearing it as a holding pattern, or worse, a piece of product released simply to keep the R.E.M. brand out among the public.
  5. The good news is things pick up, eventually. The bad news is the album ends just as it starts getting interesting.
  6. In eliminating both the mystery of its early years and the restless spirit of more recent times, R.E.M. leaves just exactly what R.E.M.-haters probably felt the band made all along: midtempo, largely hookless adult rock.
  7. Filter
    20
    Weak poetry set to any music sucks, let alone this plodding folk-lite. [#13, p.90]

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 72
  2. Negative: 11 out of 72
  1. Collingsj
    Mar 8, 2006
    10
    a master piece
  2. flamer
    Nov 8, 2004
    9
    i really liked this album especially electron blue
  3. ScottY
    Jul 9, 2005
    9
    This one got torn up in the REM newsgroups. However, I can appreciate most of REM's efforts from Murmur up to this one. The album really This one got torn up in the REM newsgroups. However, I can appreciate most of REM's efforts from Murmur up to this one. The album really hits its stride around song 7, Wanderlust, through song 9, Aftermath. It's sort of a post-9/11 album according to most accounts but it's really more of a post-election album as a good portion of it seems to be a rather biting commentary at the current administration in the White House. Expand
  4. TonyO
    Nov 21, 2004
    8
    Not as glorious a pop record as Reveal - but not far off either. I do not get the critical backlash about this one at all - what I hear is a Not as glorious a pop record as Reveal - but not far off either. I do not get the critical backlash about this one at all - what I hear is a humble, comfortable REM, crafting soulful music that reflects both their own growth, and the travails of the modern world. Don't listen to the critics - REM has left them behind.. Expand
  5. Apr 5, 2012
    7
    I'm a massive R.E.M fan and have to say this record was a real let down. I know Reveal got a lukewarm reception in some quarters but I thoughtI'm a massive R.E.M fan and have to say this record was a real let down. I know Reveal got a lukewarm reception in some quarters but I thought it was quite good, albeit not up with their absolute best work. Around the Sun however is the sound of a band that seem bored with themselves and what they do. It lacks energy and imagination and in too many places its just boring and bland. I'm still going to give it a 7 though as I do think the fact that it was brought out by a band of R.E.M's stature goes against the album. There are some good songs on it - "Leaving New York", "High Speed Train" and the title track are all very good and there are plenty of tracks on here that when heard played live by the band sound a lot more vibrant. It's definitely a record I feel came across better when it was played live which would suggest the production just wasn't up to scratch. Expand
  6. stefano
    Oct 6, 2004
    5
    Dull and uninspired.
  7. ZacharyF
    Oct 8, 2004
    0
    Pathetic. I listened to this pap on myspace.com (thanks for saving me the 15 bucks!) and only made it to track 8. What an embarrasing effort. Pathetic. I listened to this pap on myspace.com (thanks for saving me the 15 bucks!) and only made it to track 8. What an embarrasing effort. For a band that was once so unique, vibrant, and vital (see Chronic Town - Automatic for the People) to see them produce this bland and boring offal is a sad thing indeed. Give it up, Stipe. I guess the only thing to do is TALK about the passion, because it's obvious that it left your songwriting over a decade ago. Expand

See all 72 User Reviews