Song of the Day #204: ‘At My Most Beautiful’ – R.E.M.

upR.E.M.’s last four albums — Up, Reveal, Around the Sun and Accelerate — have been mild disappointments. Those records followed New Adventures in Hi-Fi, the excellent and underrated follow-up to Monster, and they were all recorded without drummer Bill Berry, who quit the band to live on his farm after surviving a brain aneurysm.

By no means is it a coincidence that R.E.M.’s weakest efforts followed the loss of Berry. I don’t know how much he contributed to the songwriting, but there is a chemistry in some bands that, once altered, can never be reclaimed.

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