Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage 1982-2011

[Warner Bros.]

With R.E.M.’s demise last fall the timing is perfect for this double-disc, chronologically arranged retrospective that makes a valiant, if lopsided, attempt to put the group’s three-decade run into perspective. Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage is the first R.E.M. compendium that surveys the full breadth of that career, from the mumbly, jangly early innovations (“Gardening at Night,” “Radio Free Europe”) through the alt-rock-defining hits of the late ’80s and early ’90s (“Losing My Religion,” “The One I Love”) and onward into the erratic output that marked R.E.M.’s work from the late ’90s till the end. By default, that makes disc one as vital a collection of post-punk as any extant while rendering the second half rather spotty. Three previously unreleased tunes are tossed in to lure those who already own the rest, but this collection is strictly about what’s now gone, not what lies ahead. –J. Tamarkin

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