Album: Out of Time
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So let’s dispel a couple of myths surrounding Out of Time up front. It is neither R.E.M.’s “mandolin album,” nor is it their “switching instruments album.” Are there a couple of songs where Peter Buck plays mandolin? Yes, but there were more on Green. Are there songs where Bill Berry plays bass and doesn’t play drums? Yes, but those are drumless tracks. Does Mike Mills play a lot of keyboards on the record? Yes, but same goes for Lifes Rich Pageant.
That said, Out of Time does feature fewer uptempo straight-up electric guitar-based rock songs than any R.E.M. album previously released, and the arrangements are lusher, fuller and more experimental as well.