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CD Review: R.E.M.

Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage 1982-2011 (Warner Bros.)


R.E.M.'s final release is, somewhat anticlimactically, a two-disc career retrospective featuring 40 songs. Diehards likely have all these cuts, and casual fans may already own the band's other recent compilations. So while Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage 1982–2011 makes a fine encapsulation of R.E.M., it isn't essential. But the inclusion of lesser-known album tracks — like the wiry, urgent jangle-howl "Life and How to Live It" and the nostalgic piano vignette "Nightswimming" — gives the collection character. And "We All Go Back to Where We Belong," one of three new songs included, is simply gorgeous: AM Gold-caliber horns and gooey strings suit the tune's lyrics, which brim with melancholic resignation and naked sentimentality — an emotional combination R.E.M. always did very, very well. — Annie Zaleski

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