I’m sensing a trend for 2011: high profile bands tapping into their star studded network of friends in order to make their much anticipated new albums even more anticipated. After all, Foo Fighters are basically reuniting the cast of Nevermind (minus Kurt, of course) for their next full length, Damon Albarn is forming a band with Flea, and now R.E.M. have just announced their new record, Collapse Into Now, has enough star power to put on a pretty decent music festival.
Speaking with Spin, R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills confirmed that the band’s 15th studio album will feature the likes of Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, legendary songwriter Patti Smith, and electro head Peaches. Plus, as previously reported, the equally great Garret “Jacknife” Lee will serve as producer. Now, let’s all say “woah” together…
As for the album’s actual content, Mills promises a more “expansive” sound and “very personal, very human” lyrics.
“With Accelerate we were trying to make a point by making the songs as short and as fast as possible,” Mills explained to Spin. “So we wanted this new one to be more expansive. We wanted to put more variety into it and not limit ourselves to any one type of song. There are some really slow, beautiful songs; there are some nice, mid-tempo ones; and then there are three or four rockers.”
He continued: “[The album] is a very personal, very human record. Not only to [singer] Michael [Stipe], but personal and human in the sense of the narrative of the songs, the protagonists of the songs.”
Many of Collapse Into Now‘s specific details — including release date, artwork and tracklist — are still forthcoming, but Mills said album tracks include “All the Best”, “Blue”, and “It Happened Today”, which features Vedder on vocals.
More details as they become available. Expect Collapse Into Now to hit your eardrums next Spring.