After many tries I find that even at this later date I am unable to properly articulate my feelings about the R.E.M. split. I read about people not knowing that they were still around, and those that think that they should have disbanded when their drummer, Bill Berry, quit after 1996’s New Adventure’s in Hi-Fi. R.E.M have released fifteen albums, and that’s not a number to scoff at. At fifteen albums, is it wrong for them to decide to call it a day? I’m not convinced either way. The fact that there will be no new R.E.M. record is heartbreaking, but at the same time it feels alright. Th emotions are admittedly difficult to discern.
In the recent Pearl Jam documentary, Pearl Jam Twenty, lead singer of Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, remarks that American bands break up. It’s just what they do. It made me think of R.E.M., who were still together at the time. There is certainly something sad in that.