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More on the R.E.M. Murmur Re-release – “On the remastered 25th-anniversary edition of Murmur, R.E.M.’s famously muddy (and famously flawless) 1983 debut, Michael Stipe’s words are now easier to make out (if no simpler to understand), and Bill Berry’s drums, in particular, sound more powerful than before. (The booming backbeat adds to the thrust of “West of the Fields”; “Radio Free Europe,” meanwhile, sounds downright danceable.) The second disc features a 1983 Toronto live set, highlighted by an early version of “Just a Touch” (officially released three years later on Life’s Rich Pageant) and Stipe’s casual banter with the audience about Fred MacMurray and Thin Lizzy. The collection’s hardly revelatory—turns out, these guys put on a pretty good show back in the day—but you could certainly spend your money in worse ways.”

I’m definitely going to buy it on iTunes this weekend.

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