In 1986 R.E.M reached gold certification for the first time. Twenty five years on, they’ve dug up the album, given it a good polish, and whacked on some bling before re-releasing it. With elements of pop, rock and a bit of funk and country, it definitely makes for good listening.

Buyers are getting their money’s worth too considering it comes with two discs, 31 tracks including 19 unreleased demos and a track “Wait” that has never seen the light of day, a poster, a lift top box and four postcards. But it makes me think the new Pageant is all about giving die-hard fans some collectibles to add to their mantelpiece. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like R.E.M are one of those bands who can only rely on past albums rather than create new work. These prolific musicians just released their 15th studio album, Collapse Into Now. But this is also their fourth re-released album. What’s going to happen once they’ve gone through their whole discography? Will they do re-releases of re-releases? In the end this album won’t disappoint the fans. Everyone else might be wondering, what’s the point?

Published in TNT Downunder Magazine on July 4, 2011. 


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