Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

R.E.M.: Reckoning [I.R.S., 1984]
This charming band makes honestly reassuring music--those guitar chords ring out with a confidence in the underlying beauty of the world that's all but disappeared among rock-and-rollers who know what else is happening. As befits good Southerners, their sense of necessity resides in their drummer, which is why the Byrds analogies don't wash (who ever noticed Michael Clarke?) and why they shouldn't get carried away with the country moves (slow ones really are supposed to have words). B+