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CD toss-up: George Michael vs. R.E.M.

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April

25Hey, 80s fans. Big day today. TWO new albums of interest to us just hit store shelves: R.E.M.'s "Accelerate" and George Michael's "Twenty-Five."

But in these times of devastating economic depression, it's probably wise to just pick one to buy for now. But which one? Let's break it down.

COOLNESS FACTOR:
George Michael:
He's cooler now than he's been in a long time, thanks to his appearances on TV's "Eli Stone" -- and because he's managed to stay off the tabloid pages for a while now.
R.E.M.: These cats from Athens, Ga., are the epitome of cool. You're not going to see Michael Stipe being arrested in a public bathroom or getting odd brow lifts.
Edge: R.E.M. by a shiny, happy margin.

THE TUNES:
George Michael:
"Twenty-Five" is essentially a greatest-hits double disc. So at least you know you're getting the best tunes of his career. And thankfully, no "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go."
R.E.M.: They're getting good reviews so far, but R.E.M. hasn't put out a decent, complete album since "Charles in Charge" was still on TV.
Edge: Even Scott Baio digs George Michael.

Accelerate WORD OF MOUTH:
George Michael: Let's face it -- nobody but 80s bloggers are writing about his new album. But the guy sold out nearly 100 cavernous concert venues in Europe during his just-completed tour. He's still somebody worth listening to.
R.E.M.: Any act inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame is going to get intense press coverage of a new album. Peter Buck could have composed it using Guitar Hero III, and it'd still sell well enough to go gold.
Edge: R.E.M. (They are Supermen, and they know what's happening.)

What Would Stuck in the 80s do? Personally, I'm forking over for the George Michael set -- and I'm borrowing Times music critic Sean Daly's copy of "Accelerate." ... It's good to be the king.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:31pm]

    

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