I'm finally listening to the 2013 deluxe reissue of R.E.M.'s sixth album and major-label debut, 1988's Green. I've played this album fewer than five times since the '80s, and have found with other albums by the band that they don't hold up very well for me. From about 1985 to 1990 there was no group that meant more to me and it's never fun to revisit old favorites and feel left cold. Green started off the same way this time around; after a couple of spins, though, it really started clicking with me again. One problem I have with some R.E.M. is that I can find it so dated and quaint. World Leader Pretend, though, feels current to me and its lyric about internal battles is timeless. I swear I didn't remember the castanets on the verses, but I recall vividly how stunned I was to hear pedal steel on an R.E.M. record. "They've gone country!" people claimed. Hardly, but it was a nice touch and the arrangement, like many on the album, charted new sonic territory for the group.