http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/41de356fa51880e217594244417952c669061ea5.jpg Murmur (Deluxe Edition)


Murmur (Deluxe Edition)

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5 5 0
December 11, 2008

Twenty-five years later, the album that invented "alternative rock" still sounds great: anthemic on a bedroom scale, danceable but not robotic, experimental without being oblique. And Michael Stipe's nasal muezzin-croon pulses with brooding emotion even when the lyrics are unintelligible. The bonus disc captures a 1983 Toronto club gig that strips Murmur's sound bare. It's sloppy but thrilling, with outbursts of Stipe's unhinged vibrato and a perfect cover of "There She Goes Again," by the Velvet Underground — patron saints of a sound that R.E.M. developed into something bigger and longer-lived than anyone would've guessed.

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