R.E.M. | Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011

Warner Bros (2011)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  November 16, 2011
2.0 2.0 Stars


Now R.E.M. have died two deaths: first, when drummer and founding member Bill Berry split for the comforts of country life in 1997, and then nail-in-the-coffin style, when the Athens, Georgia, band announced its official break-up two months ago. Cue the definitive best-of compilation album. A two-disc career overview of the most formative American rock band of the late 20th century should be easy enough, but Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage fails by making the obvious choice at every turn. Sure, there's plenty here that can't be denied, no matter who you are: "Gardening at Night," "Talk About the Passion," "Fall on Me," "Country Feedback," etc. But where's "Wolves, Lower"? "These Days"? "Everybody Hurts" instead of "Drive"? Only one track from the band's unfairly maligned Monster? Neophytes may be the target here, but as a long-form mixtape, Part Lies could go deeper. It doesn't help that the obligatory new tracks aimed at longtime fans — "We All Go Back to Where Belong," "A Month of Saturdays," and "Hallelujah" — are weak bait. This ain't all bad — it's just that the real truth is that R.E.M. were better.
Related: R.E.M. | Document [25th Anniversary Edition], KT Tunstall | Tiger Suit, The Sounds | Something To Die For, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, R.E.M., R.E.M.,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BROWN BIRD | FITS OF REASON  |  March 18, 2013
    Brown Bird, a boundary-pushing Americana duo from Rhode Island, make music that touches upon that can't-put-my-finger-on-it amalgamation of past and future sounds.
  •   NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS | PUSH THE SKY AWAY  |  February 20, 2013
    Much like the similarly low-key The Boatman's Call , Cave's highly anticipated 15th album with the Bad Seeds manages the puzzling feat of making a great band seem inconsequential, if not entirely absent.
  •   SCOTT WALKER | BISH BOSCH  |  November 27, 2012
    Scott Walker's late-period about-face is one of the strangest in the annals of pop music.
    Bill Withers has always been the down-to-earth, odd-man-out of the '70s soul brothers: he's the one who came bearing a lunch box on the cover of his relaxed 1971 debut, Just as I Am .
  •   R.E.M. | DOCUMENT [25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION]  |  September 19, 2012
    Fans of R.E.M. enjoy arguing over which album was the band's true shark-jump, but 1987's Document was inarguably the end of a groundbreaking era.

 See all articles by: ZETH LUNDY