Reviews \

R.E.M., ‘R.E.M. Live’ (Warner Bros.)

Michael Stipe hates false advertising — he opens R.E.M.’s first concert album with the assertion “I don’t wanna be Iggy Pop” (“I Took Your Name”). And Live attests that their rock has always been about composure, not raw power. Its 22 tracks are steady and regal, so pitch-perfect that they’re often indistinguishable from the studio counterparts. This Dublin performance tips heavily to earlier hits and Stipe’s indignant expat interludes, and it’s reliably beautiful, if staid. Still, when a thousand Irish voices accept that everybody hurts, they resound like a flock of saved souls.

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Tags: Albums