Around the Sun

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
Around the Sun Music Poster Image
Political, personal, poetic, and poignant.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Poetic political integrity.


Anti-violent message.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that it's back to basics with R.E.M.'s classic sound and literate imagery. Thoughtful teens will find lots to enjoy here.

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What's the story?

AROUND THE SUN is the kind of album that grows on you. Political and poetic, the lyrics speak of hope in the face of evidence to the contrary. Highlights include \"Leaving New York,\" a haunting track on which lead singer Michael Stipe considers escaping his beloved city to a place where there is \"no war, no hate, no past.\" \"I Wanted to Be Wrong,\" an understated ballad; the darkly intense \"Boy In the Well\"; the electric \"Electron Blue\"; and the more upbeat \"Wanderlust\" are other highlights. For those comfortable with R.E.M.'s leftie political stance and rhetoric, Around the Sun will seem a welcome reminder of the band's early days.

Is it any good?

The CD is full of poetic imagery delivered through excellent singing, playing, and songwriting. Though not the group's best album ever, tight arrangements, interesting subject matter, and intriguing imagery make Around the Sun an album to remember. Thoughtful teens will find lots to enjoy here.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the lyrics -- including politics, poetry, and hope.

Music details

  • Artist: R.E.M.
  • Release date: October 5, 2004
  • Label: Warner Brothers
  • Genre: Rock
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: July 15, 2015

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