New Adventures in Hi-Fi

New Adventures in Hi-Fi

by R.E.M.R.E.M.


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Recorded during and immediately following R.E.M.'s disaster-prone Monster tour, New Adventures in Hi-Fi feels like it was recorded on the road. Not only are all of Michael Stipe's lyrics on the album about moving or travel, the sound is ragged and varied, pieced together from tapes recorded at shows, soundtracks, and studios, giving it a loose, careening charm. New Adventures has the same spirit of much of R.E.M.'s IRS records, but don't take the title of New Adventures in Hi-Fi lightly -- R.E.M. tries different textures and new studio tricks. "How the West Was Won and Where It Got Us" opens the album with a rolling, vaguely hip-hop drum beat and slowly adds on jazzily dissonant piano. "E-Bow the Letter" starts out as an updated version of "Country Feedback," then it turns in on itself with layers of moaning guitar effects and Patti Smith's haunting backing vocals. Clocking in at seven minutes, "Leave" is the longest track R.E.M. has yet recorded and it's one of their strangest and best -- an affecting minor-key dirge with a howling, siren-like feedback loop that runs throughout the entire song. Elsewhere, R.E.M. tread standard territory: "Electrolite" is a lovely piano-based ballad, "Departure" rocks like a Document outtake, the chiming opening riff of "Bittersweet Me" sounds like it was written in 1985, "New Test Leper" is gently winding folk-rock, and "The Wake-Up Bomb" and "Undertow" rock like the Monster outtakes they are. New Adventures in Hi-Fi may run a little too long -- it clocks in at 62 minutes, by far the longest album R.E.M. has ever released -- yet in its multifaceted sprawl, they wound up with one of their best records of the '90s.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/10/1996
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0093624632023
catalogNumber: 46320


  1. How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us
  2. The Wake-Up Bomb
  3. New Test Leper
  4. Undertow
  5. E-Bow The Letter
  6. Leave
  7. Departure
  8. Bittersweet Me
  9. Be Mine
  10. Binky The Doormat
  11. Zither
  12. So Fast, So Numb
  13. Low Desert
  14. Electrolite

Album Credits

Performance Credits

R.E.M.   Primary Artist
Scott McCaughey   Piano,Autoharp,ARP
Peter Buck   Banjo,Bass,Bouzouki,Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals
Andy Carlson   Violin
Mike Mills   Organ,Synthesizer,Bass,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Moog Synthesizer,Mellotron,farfisa organ,Fuzz Bass
Patti Smith   Vocals
Michael Stipe   Synthesizer,Vocals
Bill Berry   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Human Whistle
Nathan December   Guitar,Tambourine,Guiro

Technical Credits

Peter Murphy   Composer
Steve Stills   Composer
Daniel Ash   Composer
David J   Composer
Peter Buck   Composer
Kevin Haskins   Composer
John Keane   Engineer
Scott Litt   Producer
Patrick McCarthy   Engineer
Mike Mills   Composer
R.E.M.   Producer
Michael Stipe   Composer
Bill Berry   Composer,Contributor
Adam Kaspar   Engineer
Joe Oherigy   Engineer
Jo Ravitch   Engineer
Jeff Wooding   Engineer

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