In Time 1988-2003 (The Best of R.E.M.)

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
In Time 1988-2003 (The Best of R.E.M.) Music Poster Image
Fine collection of 18 classic R.E.M. hits.

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Kids say

age 5+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The hopeful message in "Everybody Hurts" gets an A+.


These guys are too busy writing poetry.


All sexual references are poetically obtuse.


"Kiss my ass" ("The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight") is as bad as it gets.



Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Benzedrine ("What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"), hash bars, Seconal, "smoke it, drink it" ("E-Bow the Letter"), does Orange Crush count?

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that younger children may have some questions about the metaphorical lyrics in songs like "Man in the Moon" and "Losing My Religion."

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bySweetDisposition March 8, 2011

Kids deserve to be raised on this music.

I have a very strong opinion on what kids should listen to. I feel like kids who listen to pop throughout their child/teen years are highly deprived. Bands and... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymatt_m April 9, 2008

What's the story?

There will be endless discussion in online fan newsgroups about whether R.E.M. chose the best songs for their greatest hits CD, IN TIME. Whether or not you agree with these selections, you'll find nicely written background information about each song, along with artistically grainy photos, in the accompanying booklet -- sure to be a fan-pleaser. Since this is a \"best of\" compilation, there are no surprises; rather, the songs reflect the audience-tested favorites. Younger children may have some trouble with the poetic, metaphorical lyrics. Older teens will be enchanted by them. From a dealing-with-depressed-and-lonely-teenagers viewpoint, the song \"Everybody Hurts\" is nothing short of heroic, with its message of you're-not-alone hopefulness.

Is it any good?

If you and your kids already love R.E.M., you'll find enough familiar musical moments to be satisfying. For new listeners, In Time is a fine sampler of R.E.M.'s work between 1998 and 2003. The absent songs tell their own story, which is that you can probably expect a Volume Two sometime, including hits omitted here such as "The One I Love" and "End Of The World."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether the song choices seem to be the group's best. Also, the lyrics and their symbolism are bound to intrigue older teens -- and could make for an interesting discussion.

Music details

  • Artist: R.E.M.
  • Release date: October 28, 2003
  • Label: Warner Brothers
  • Genre: Rock
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: July 15, 2015

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