When REM called it quits in 2011, the mourning was oddly muted. Perhaps that’s because for many people they were firmly a 1990s phenomenon, and the intelligent-indie genre they inspired has long since co-opted. For casual listener, they have the air of that radio station they play in Starbucks.
Yet the band produced 15 albums over almost 20 years, and the combination of a clearly delineated rock sound with Michael Stipe’s baffling/incoherent/inaudible vocals remains potent. This documentary is a welcome look back at the career of the Georgia band, who undercut the howling of grunge with poise and sensitivity.
Radio Times Sky Art’s 8th August