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2008-04-04 - 10:56 a.m.

It's been a loooong time since I've cared about a new REM album, but I was pretty psyched to hear the new one. It's been touted for months now as being a real rocker, and I concede: it does rock indeed. The whole thing is very raw, and Stipey sounds great.

The lyrics are pretty lame--collegiate angst that sounds unseemly and a bit suspect coming from 50-year-old rock stars. I liked it better when you couldn't understand what they were talkin' about.

I'm not sure this is gonna be on heavy rotation at IHoP HQ, but it is a respectable and enjoyable effort. Thank you, boys.

And speaking of boys with deep baritone voices, I like this Hayes Carll fellow. He sings country music in its purest form--not alt-country, or new country, just good ol' fashioned Merle Haggard honky-tonk, filtered through a Dylan-o-lizer. Good stuff.

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