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The hyperbolic return of R.E.M.

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With “Supernatural Superserious,” R.E.M. does what they do best: upbeat pop with a strong hook and angsty lyrics — in this case, about how we all still feel like the awkward teenagers we once were. I think Michael Stipe & Co. sound as refreshingly restless as ever, which bodes well for their upcoming album Accelerate (due April 1). Check out the grainy-good, as-basic-as-it-gets video:

However, in a classic case of too much of a good thing, “Supernaturally Superserious” has its own website, where 12 low-tech mini-movies essentially deconstruct the final cut into the separate shoots. (Tip: avoid opening all the video windows at the same time, or the site may get all ganked up, technically speaking.) There’s an implied “what is an outtake?” notion to the whole concept, but — all due respect to director Vincent Moon — after clicking around for a while, I just kept wondering, Why do this? Watching the dozen different (yet similar) visual manifestations of the same tune was, for me, merely tedious in the end. That said, I enjoyed seeing the band’s spontaneity as they traipsed around NYC’s Lower East Side (including a stop at the sex shop Babeland) on a seemingly shoestring budget. I’m superseriously curious to find out: What are your reactions to both the site and the song, PopWatch music lovers?

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