R.E.M. return to form with a flourish on their latest long-player Collapse Into Now.

And along the course of their 15th album, they reach the heights of their 1992 masterpiece Automatic For The People, with notable assistance from the iconic Patti Smith, grunge hero Eddie Vedder and electro-punk starlet Peaches.

Rip-roaring opener ‘Discoverer’ recalls the best bits of 1994’s rock-tinged Monster album, while first single ‘UBerlin’ is Buck, Mills and Stipe in full flight, soaring in symbiosis and sounding every bit as graceful as they did on those timeless classics ‘Losing My Religion‘ and ‘Drive’.

There is much to enjoy here, with melancholic laments such as ‘Walk It Back’ sitting comfortably next to wig-outs like ‘Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter’.

It may only be March, but this is already a contender for album of the year.