Superseriously Good?

'Supernatural Superserious' is a puzzling nut to crack; is it a return to the subtle simple rock of the “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth” days, or is it merely a commerically accessible hum a-long with little lasting value? With most bands of REM's standing, a return to the early days is usually applauded, however Stipe and co. have never really fallen prey to the midlife crisis that most bands experience, so this mellow number couldn't be described as clear cut return to form, because arguably REM never lost form.

What, 'Supernatural Superserious' is, is a brief injection of crunchy guitars mixed with indie jangling, howling vocal harmonies, wry lyrics, "You don't have to explain, you don't have to explain humilation of your teenage station." After a couple of listens it even has a certain anthemic quality to it. Essentially the one gripe with this gritty "return to form" is that it naturally offers something new; it just serves up the established REM goods with a renewed sense of vigour and bright, upbeat melody.