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Stipe Says New R.E.M. Album Is Far-Out

Singer Michael Stipe says R.E.M.’s next album takes the Georgia band’s sound into deep space.

“If the last one was like Mars, this one is like Neptune,” he said last week at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The band wrapped work last month on Reveal, which is due in May, before heading south for a performance at Brazil’s Rock in Rio festival.

“It’s along the same lines as [1998’s] Up, but this one is much more experimental,” he continued. “But within that, there’s a lot more pop, and a lot more melody.”

Reveal is the second album R.E.M. has recorded as a trio. When drummer Bill Berry left the band in 1997 – following a life-threatening brain aneurysm – the band explored new ground with Up.