Accelerate is the fourteenth studio album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released on March 31, 2008 in Europe, and on April 1 in North America. Produced with Jacknife Lee, Accelerate is intended as a departure from the 2004 album Around the Sun. R.E.M. previewed several of the album's tracks during a five-night residency at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, and recorded the album in a nine-week schedule.
R.E.M.'s previous record Around the Sun (2004) only sold 240,000 copies in the U.S. and was poorly received by critics. The band members later expressed displeasure with the album. Guitarist Peter Buck told Q, "I personally hated it. [Quickly] No, hated is too hard. I hated the fact that it wasn't as good as it should've been." Buck admitted the band felt pressure to subsequently make a better record; he told Q, "Even Michael [Stipe] was going, 'Y'know, if we make another bad record, it's over.' It's like, 'No kidding.'"
Buck and bassist Mike Mills began working on instrumental demos in winter 2007, assisted by touring members Bill Rieflin and Scott McCaughey. The music they wrote was faster and more aggressive than other material they had written in years....