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by R.E.M.
Live by R.E.M.
Released: Oct 2007
Label: Warner Bros.
The unimaginative title of this set from a 2005 Dublin show suggests a quickie cash-in from a lazy band or label, but the muscular performances are revelatory, connecting the rollicking early-period R.E.M. and later, more restrained tunes such as "Electron Blue." In the process, it makes a more convincing case than most of their recent studio albums that these guys remain vital. Admirably free of any obvious post-gig tinkering, Michael Stipe's full-throated (and perfectly enunciated!) vocals drip with energy and excitement, and it's pretty thrilling to hear the crowd respond in kind.
Tim Quirk