Around The Sun Image
Metascore
56

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

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 104 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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: 49 out of 73
  2. Negative: 11 out of 73
  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. JonH
    Jun 23, 2005
    8
    It is simply unfathomable to me how so many critics panned this album. Michael Stipe's lyrics, as always, are different and dark, and he It is simply unfathomable to me how so many critics panned this album. Michael Stipe's lyrics, as always, are different and dark, and he uses melody as simply a vehicle to deliver the poetry. There is some great stuff here: Q-Tip's verse on The Outsiders shows the band isn't afraid to try something new; Wanderlust is a strikingly inventive song, with a chorus in 7/4 meter, it sounds more like it's from outerspace rather than the trash heap like some critics suggest. And amid the eye-opening moments are light, tuneful, throughtful, beautifuls songs. Expand
  5. Aug 30, 2012
    7
    Around The Sun is NOT Sh*t. OK, that's the worst album R.E.M. have ever made, but it's not so horrible as people says. The problem is the limpAround The Sun is NOT Sh*t. OK, that's the worst album R.E.M. have ever made, but it's not so horrible as people says. The problem is the limp sound, but the songs are ok. Leaving New York and Aftermath are very good, and there other songs that don't sound bad (Electron Blue, Final Straw, ecc.)
    Always better than that garbage we must listen now.
    Expand
  6. thomasm
    Oct 6, 2004
    5
    quiet and peacefull, something for the background, no peaks, no lows
  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 73 User Reviews