Collapse into Now


Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. What makes Collapse Into Now so satisfying is that it isn't a return to form so much as a realization that the band R.E.M. are now isn't necessarily a bad thing to be.
  2. May 24, 2011
    It's an assured effort from the very start.
  3. 70
    Give Collapse a few listens. The potential is there.
  4. Mar 23, 2011
    Patti Smith, Eddie Vedder, Peaches and Lenny Kaye are along for the ride, helping Collapse Into Now stand tall in R.E.M.'s richly diverse canon.
  5. Mar 21, 2011
    If there's any band that's completely earned the right to gracefully knock themselves off, it's R.E.M. It only took them fourteen years.
  6. Mar 16, 2011
    With Collapse into Now, there's enough reason to keep celebrating.
  7. Mar 15, 2011
    What makes this record better than Accelerate is the feeling that R.E.M. have figured out how to be R.E.M. again--how to affect the signature balance of folky and punky that's inspired bands far less worshipful than Pearl Jam or the Decemberists.
  8. Mar 10, 2011
    The album clearly bounces back and forth between those moments of emotional annihilation and utter hope and optimism. But more than that, with those tracks book-ending the effort, the record's most basic motif is clear: even as lords of rock, the men of R.E.M. still struggle daily with their own issues and the standards of the world, but welcome the battle with ever-glowing smiles.
  9. Mar 10, 2011
    Collapse Into Now isn't a bad album but crucially it isn't a classic.
  10. Mar 10, 2011
    Like all of R.E.M.'s most recent albums, Collapse Into Now is flawed; a reflection, I'm speculating, on the fact that that band's working process is now flawed.
  11. Mar 9, 2011
    The group have harked back to the more memorable songs in their canon, but this can be interpreted as largely derivative in some quarters.
  12. Mar 9, 2011
    It's another very good album from a band that's getting back into the habit of making them.
  13. Mar 9, 2011
    Despite some small stutter steps, Collapse Into Now is easily the best R.E.M. album since the trio lost its way.
  14. Mar 9, 2011
    Here, the 51-year-old is comfortable in his role as an elder statesman, as are guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills on their most self-aware record since the departure of drummer Bill Berry in 1998.
  15. Mar 9, 2011
    The most immediately striking moments on Collapse Into Now are those that sound like explicit retreads of previous R.E.M. songs.
  16. 80
    All comparisons aside, Collapse Into Now is one heck of an album.
  17. Mar 8, 2011
    Collapse Into Now builds on Accelerate for something less primal, but much more insightful, varied, and, frankly, pleasurable. It's hard to remember the last time R.E.M. seemed so at ease and yet still so vital.
  18. Mar 8, 2011
    Collapse Into Now suffers somewhat. It's good. But it's no Reckoning. Or Document. Or Automatic For The People. Or...
  19. Mar 7, 2011
    Collapse shuffles through all of R.E.M.'s past lives; it's a greatest hits without a hit, a career retrospective with all new material.
  20. R.E.M's 15th album could trade places with almost any of the previous 14.
  21. Mar 7, 2011
    Collapse Into Now is a fine album, and one that's far better than any band together for three decades has any right to be. What a pity, then, that they're not going to tour it.
  22. 60
    Where the spirit-void blankness of R.E.M. once felt intuitive and intentional, it now feels accidental. Most of this record's musical temperament seems reheated or purchased.
  23. Mar 7, 2011
    This broadening of the palette is as deliberate as Accelerate's reduction of R.E.M. to ringing Rickenbackers, and while it occasionally feels as if the bandmembers sifted through their past to find appropriate blueprints for new songs, there is merit to their madness.
  24. Mar 7, 2011
    Although Collapse into Now is ultimately an OK rock record, one can point to moments here or on the album before that demonstrate that today's R.E.M. can achieve better if it buckles down hard enough.
  25. Mar 7, 2011
    Considering how the album's style draws from each era of R.E.M.'s evolution, Collapse Into Now plays as something of a greatest-hits package.
  26. Mar 4, 2011
    Collapse mostly sounds like a familiar friend -- reliable in all the best ways, but still capable of quietly insinuating surprises.
  27. Mar 4, 2011
    Collapse into Now genuinely feels like their first post-Bill Berry album to resemble a four-legged dog. And that, folks, is an event.
  28. Mar 4, 2011
    On Collapse Into Now, they sound like they'd rather be a band than a legend, which must be why they keep pushing on.
  29. Mar 4, 2011
    Collapse Into Now isn't groundbreaking, but feeling comfortable in their old skin has produced REM's best effort in years.
  30. 60
    Not as cohesive as their very best work, R.E.M.'s 15th album is still as smart, sonically rich and emotionally resonant as a guitar band can ever hope to be.
  31. Mar 4, 2011
    Collapse is a genuine return to form for the band, blowing away anything else they've done for more than a decade.
  32. 80
    Certainly, the recurrent themes of conclusion, starting over and rebuilding do lend it a muscular sense of purpose.
  33. 75
    Late-period R.E.M. often lacks the fire and finesse of their college-rock classics, but Collapse Into Now's sharp power-pop blasts get it half right.
  34. Mar 4, 2011
    What better band to cover R.E.M. than R.E.M.? That's exactly what the longtime Athens, Ga., trio sounds like it's doing on its 15th studio album, Collapse Into Now.
  35. Q Magazine
    May 2, 2011
    Unfortunately, Collapse Into Now is not nearly as consistent, vital or accomplished as either Out Of Time or Automatic For The People. [Apr 2011, p.94]
  36. Mojo
    Apr 22, 2011
    Collapse Into now finds Stipe, Peter Buck and mike Mills pleading relevance and vitality. [Apr 2011, p.96]
  37. Uncut
    Mar 29, 2011
    Collapse Into Now can only sound like an afterthought, but it nevertheless one which bristles and fizzes with invigorating qualities of wit and fury. [Apr 2011, p.76]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Mar 8, 2011
    There was a time I waited for an REM album with defiant hope. I mean, REM embodied the sophisticate yet accessible, the experimental yetThere was a time I waited for an REM album with defiant hope. I mean, REM embodied the sophisticate yet accessible, the experimental yet refrained, the beautiful but never the corny, and they were "southern boys just like you and me" (in Pavement's words). They were the leaders that made a path for and championed great younger bands. That was a long time ago. I stopped waiting for their second comming a few years back. Today I am glad they were never gone. I have read several accusations of fabrication of an artificial REM sound by REM on this album, which just seems ridiculous to me. I get why these are put forward, this is an intensely reminiscent album if you happen to know a couple of things about this bands important past. There is something stuck in the ears of critics disliking these songs for being too much like their early forerunners of Document, Green, Out of Time and Automatic. That something is that REM â Full Review »
  2. Mar 8, 2011
    "Accelerate" was the first R.E.M. album since Bill Berry left the band that sounded to me like R.E.M. It was a welcome album to hear and a"Accelerate" was the first R.E.M. album since Bill Berry left the band that sounded to me like R.E.M. It was a welcome album to hear and a return to form for a band that I felt was meandering and just putting out albums because they were under contract to. It was the first album of theirs whereby repeated listening was as rewarding as some of their earlier albums. So it was with great anticipation that "Collapse into Now" made it's way into my headphones today. After two listens through I can say they still have the form that came about with in they sound like R.E.M. and not some weird hybrid. But the songs seem to be a bit too derivative of their earlier work...same chord selections, same acoustic type riffs, even the same tonal characteristics in Peter Buck's guitar playing. It all sounds almost too familiar. Some may like that, but for me there isn't really anything on this cd that I feel is "new". I feel like I've heard it all before across their many albums. And unfortunately that makes me sad and frustrated at this new cd. There are certainly bright spots. Mike Mills sounds fantastic in his backing tracks. The production is tight,and the guest spots from Patti Smith and Eddie Vedder are welcome. It's not a bad album by any stretch, and for someone not used to the sound of REM from the IRS or early Warner Bros years it might actually be an amazing album. For me, it all sounds just a bit too familiar and that's not a comfort. Full Review »
  3. Aug 30, 2012
    Somebody says that it's the best album of their entire career. Someone else says that it's not good at all.
    The truth, in my opinion, is that
    Somebody says that it's the best album of their entire career. Someone else says that it's not good at all.
    The truth, in my opinion, is that Collapse Into Now is a great album, maybe the best of the latest 20 years by R.E.M. The quality of the songs is very very high, I can't see many albums with so many great songs (Mine Smell Like Honey, It Happened Today and Ebery Day Is Yours To Win are the best), maybe only Automatic For The People, with its masterpieces Man On The Moon, Everybody Hurts, Drive and Nightswimming.
    There Is only one little flaw: a great hit song is missing. Put in the tracklist something like Supernatural Superserious or Bad Day and the record is perfect.
    Full Review »