The thirteenth studio album from veteran rock act R.E.M. will hit shelves in October, just before the presidential election. Not coincidentally, the album features an R.E.M. with their political juices flowing and finds them angry at the state of our country and the world. "For better or worse, the current state of the world has had a profound impact on the way I'm writing," Michael Stipe told Rolling Stone. "But this isn't a downer of a record. Even the most depressing R.E.M. song is going to have a glimmer of hope in it. That's just me, I can't help myself. But there's some stuff on here that's pretty hard-core, and fairly political."
Stipe is currently in Miami finishing up the forthcoming album with guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and producer Pat McCarthy, who was behind the board for 1998's Up and 2001's Reveal. The new album also features the debut of newly instated full-time drummer Bill Rieflin, formerly of Ministry.
Tour plans in support of the album have yet to be announced, but Stipe told RS he and the band will continue to work with political organizations like MoveOn.org in the weeks and months leading up to the election.