Bona fide superstars they may be, but the uncomfortable fact is that it's almost a decade since Georgia's most famous exports last made a really well received album. Reveal might well change that; it's a confident, consistent collection that contains several of their most straightforward pop songs since Automatic For The People. Considering the difficulties the band has recently been through, the mood is unexpectedly happy and upbeat, with several tracks sounding as if they could have come from a lost Beach Boys album. They may never recover the glory of the old days, but it's nice to hear that REM are approaching middle age with their dignity still intact.