They were supposed to have retired by now.
If you weren't aware of the R.E.M. countdown, my understanding of it was that it was supposed to count down their albums until retirement. I started wondering about it when I saw the liner notes from Life's Rich Pageant.
Here's how it went:
Reckoning: 7 Chinese Bros. (yes, this is out of order)
Fables of the Reconstruction: Driver 8
Life's Rich Pageant had the word "six" written in the liner notes.
Document: Obviously the cover
Green: The track number for "Stand" was supposed to be a 4, but was replaced by an R.
Out of Time: Low, Low, Low ... three letters, three times, third track
Then it stopped. And they started making really crappy music. And now in 2008 we have like the 5th album from R.E.M. after they're supposed to have gone away, WTF?
This new album does seem to suck less than everything they ever did in the 90s, but still, shouldn't these guys have gone away quietly by now according to their countdown? I hate liars. Plus, the muddled awesomeness of albums like Reckoning and Life's Rich Pageant just make new albums by these guys seem depressing.