R.E.M. fans can expect to hear "atmospheric, lyrical and lush" songs when the band's 13th album, Reveal, hits stores in May, their manager says.
Bertis Downs told MTV News on Wednesday that producer Pat McCarthy, who produced 1999's Up, is overseeing the final mixing process of the album in Miami. The band's second album as a trio drummer Bill Berry left in 1997 will likely carry 12 or 13 tracks, which were recorded in Vancouver, British Columbia; Dublin, Ireland; Athens, Georgia; and Miami (see "R.E.M., Foo Fighters Added To Rio Festival").
"The guys followed the good weather," Downs joked.
Downs compared the sound of Reveal to R.E.M.'s 1992 multiplatinum Automatic for the People. He also said Reveal has far more hard-rocking songs, unlike the more melancholy turn of Up.
R.E.M.'s touring members and frequent cohorts, former Beck drummer Joey Waronker, the Minus Five's Scott McCaughey and former Posies guitarist Ken Stringfellow, appear on the album.
Downs said the drums on Reveal won't sound similar to Up, and said the band was still experimenting with a "mix of loopy stuff, electronica and real drums."
Songs that have already made the cut include "The Lifting," "She Just Wants to Be," "Beach Ball" and "Saturn Return."
Downs also said that because the guys are still learning the new tunes, it's unlikely R.E.M. will play much of the Reveal material when they perform at the Rock in Rio festival in Brazil this weekend. Downs said they may unveil a couple of the songs, though, for a live test drive.