R.E.M - Document 12"
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R.E.M. began to move toward mainstream record production on Lifes Rich Pageant, but they didn't have a commercial breakthrough until the following year's Document. Ironically, Document is a stranger, more varied album than its predecessor, but co-producer Scott Litt -- who would go on to produce every R.E.M. album in the following decade -- is a better conduit for the band than Don Gehman, giving the group a clean sound without sacrificing their enigmatic tendencies. It's not only a commercial breakthrough, but a creative breakthrough as well, offering evidence of R.E.M.'s growing depth and maturity, and helping usher in the P.C. era in the process.