Reveal

Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. On the plus side, the album sounds really nice.... The problem is, things get a little too lazy and hazy; Reveal's 12 tracks all move with almost the exact same dreamy, midtempo lope.
  2. It's full of the same monochromatic balladry and hipster references of its recent albums.
  3. What makes Reveal so disappointing is that the additions to the classic R.E.M. sound are all merely superficial. The increased reliance on burbling, jittering synthesizers actually makes the album a less engaging listen, turning many of its songs into messy sonic muddles.
  4. Mike Mills's and Peter Buck's acoustic midtempo strummings and electronic ambience match 1992's Automatic for the People for lethargy, without the looming darkness or catchy sentimentality that made it compelling.
  5. 40
    There's a welcome sunniness to much of the album, with "Beat a Drum" recalling The Beach Boys' "Feel Flows," and "Imitation of Life" displaying some of that classic Document-era jangle. The two songs are Reveal's only real highlights.
  6. 40
    'Up' sounded like the work of a band getting its bearings. On 'Reveal,' they're still finding their way. [Jun/Jul 2001, p.110]
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. IbanL
    Oct 5, 2006
    7
    "Reveal" is a very interesting record, likely the best album since Berry left the band. R.E.M. caught very well the summer feeling in this "Reveal" is a very interesting record, likely the best album since Berry left the band. R.E.M. caught very well the summer feeling in this record. Some of the songs are brilliant, like the first single "Imitation Of Life", which is an R.E.M. classic now. The Automatic-days were gone and this record doesn't get close to the best albums of the band, but it shows that R.E.M. still had life after the departure of Bill. Full Review »
  2. Mar 16, 2015
    9
    I will always think of this album as part of a pair--what "Up" did with the cool, austere tones of autumn and winter, "Reveal" does with theI will always think of this album as part of a pair--what "Up" did with the cool, austere tones of autumn and winter, "Reveal" does with the heady, humid tones of summertime and air-conditioning. Both albums excel at lulling the listener into a dreaminess. Lyrically, however, Stipe has rarely been finer than on "Reveal"--standout tracks in that department include "The Lifting", "Saturn Return", and " "Beat A Drum".

    With "Up" and "Reveal" R.E.M. did an outstanding job of reinventing themselves after the departure of Bill Berry. Both albums are worth acquiring and spending long hours getting lost in--at least during the right time of year.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 2, 2014
    9
    After having listened to Reveal many many times, I can finally say it is very good, better than Up, returning to a more classic sound. ManyAfter having listened to Reveal many many times, I can finally say it is very good, better than Up, returning to a more classic sound. Many interesting songs, like Imitation of Life (great), and good feeling. Full Review »