CD Reckoning [R.E.M.] [CD Boxset] [2 discs] (CD 4659838),
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Reckoning [R.E.M.] [CD Boxset] [2 discs]
0. DISC 1:
2. 7 Chinese Brothers
3. So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)
4. Pretty Persuasion
5. Time After Time (Annelise)
6. Second Guessing
7. Letter Never Sent
9. (Don't Go Back To) Rockville
10. Little America
0. DISC 2: LIVE AT THE ARAGON BALLROOM, CHICAGO, IL, JULY 7, 1984 / WXRT-FM BROADCAST:
1. Femme Fatale - (live)
2. Radio Free Europe - (live)
3. Gardening At Night - (live)
4. 9-9 - (live)
5. Windout - (live)
6. Letter Never Sent - (live)
7. Sitting Still - (live)
8. Driver 8 - (live)
9. So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry) - (live)
10. 7 Chinese Bros. - (live)
11. Harborcoat - (live)
12. Hyena - (live)
13. Pretty Persuasion - (live)
14. Little America - (live)
15. Second Guessing - (live)
16. (Don't Go Back To) Rockville - (live)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 0762
R.E.M.: Michael Stipe (vocals); Mike Mills (vocals, bass); Bill Berry (vocals, drums); Peter Buck (guitar).
Recorded at Reflection Sound, Charlotte, North Carolina.
The murmuring continued with this, R.E.M.'s second album, recorded in only two weeks, and yet critical acclaim and a growing fanbase had not made the music any less elusive. From the cover depiction of a winding river/snake, the jangly music within was similarly ambiguous, drenched in alternately murky, then dazzlingly clear, images. The water theme predominates throughout side one's five-song suite, with talk of harbours, oceans and water towers, crowned by the sublime lament of "So. Central Rain." Later, the melancholic eulogy of "Camera" sits comfortably beside the cod-country of "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" and the brisk but disillusioned tour around "Little America." An astonishingly assured and uncommercial half-sibling to MURMUR: file under water.
Rolling Stone (p.77) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he powerful RECKONING established the band as bona fide leaders of the new American indie-rock underground."
Spin (p.91) - "[T]he songs betrayed a folk-country influence -- the Byrds, in particular -- resulting in an album refreshingly out of fashion for 1984."
Spin (12/03, p.122) - "...RECKONING gets over on straight-up songcraft..."
CMJ (1/6/03, p.14) - Included in CMJ's list of "Top 25 College Radio Albums of All Time"
CMJ (1/5/04, p.14) - Ranked #1 in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1984".
Q (Magazine) (p.118) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he jangle and crunch of Buck's Rickenbacker brooked no confusion; here were the seeds of every baroque experiment with mandolins and balalaikas that lay ahead..."
Blender (Magazine) (p.106) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "RECKONING aims for the gut with roundhouse drumming, sunburst guitars, Podunk country ballads...and just enough poetic vagueness..."
Pitchfork (Website) - "[I]t is host to a kind of determined minimalism, each song building via subtle variations in performance and instrumentation."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.90) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "RECKONING remains a highpoint in REM's first chapter of existence. 'Central Rain' sounds like a lost soul classic..."
Uncut (magazine) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "RECKONING, remarkably, deepened the band's mythology, projecting a kind of existential restlessness wrapped in webs of gorgeous guitar arpeggio and interweaving vocal textures."
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A&M (USA) 0762
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