Recensione: R.E.M. - Unplugged 1991-2001 The complete sessions (2014)

R.E.M, they decided to split up, so off with the posthumous publications.
So here is this Unplugged, or rather these Unplugged, because as you can easily guess from the title there are two, one from 1991 and one from 2001. It didn't take a genius to understand it. In case you want to frame the two shows at a record level, know that they were made after "Out of time" and after "Reveal". Have you framed them now? Well. Released on vinyl for the occasion of Record store day, you can now find them in your local shop, provided it is still open.

1991 unplugged, made during the "unplugged" fashion (everyone you know was recorded around that time) is quite spartan. Exactly as if the band were at your home with their instruments, with all the pros and cons of the case. Sometimes a little limp and melancholy, at other times definitely more on the ball. The best part of the performance is certainly the central one with Love is all around (a song that will be known for the beautiful version of Wet wet wet), a quieter than usual (but no less inspired) It's the end of the world as we know it, the blockbuster Losing my religion and Pop Song 89.

2001 unplugged is instead more mature. The songs and arrangements are and the superior quality of the recording completes it all. Also the constant presence of the piano and the greatest number of instruments present from a large hand. The lineup is totally different from what you heard in the first cd (if you have listened to it), except for the irreplaceable Losing my religion.  Highlights of this 2001 performance are All the way to Reno, Daysleeper, Find the river and I'll take the rain. On the other hand, the reinterpretation "with the handbrake" of The one I love, one of my favourite songs by the band, which in this version loses all its charm, in my opinion.
CD1: 1991 Unplugged
Half a world away
Disturbance at the Heron House
Radio song
Perfect circle
Fall on me
Love is all around
It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)
Losing my religion
Pop song 89
Swan Swan H
Rotary 11
Get up
World leader pretend

CD 2: 2001 Unplugged

All the way to Reno (you’re gonna be a star)
At my most beautiful
So. Central rain (I'm sorry)
Losing my religion
Country feedback
Imitation of life
Find the river
The one I love
Beat a drum
I’ve been high
I’ll take the rain
Sad professor

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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