So. Central Rain
Label: Capitol Records
This is the sound of an indie band that's been touring incessantly. While the songs are every bit as strange and beautiful as those on Murmur, they're also more driving -- tailor-made for a band that can't stop spinning around on stage. Even the slow numbers feature insistent rhythms. "Harborcoat" and "7 Chinese Bros." are early-period R.E.M. at their best.