16. Around The Sun (2004): Around The Sun represents R.E.M. at its rudderless worst. Bill Berry is seven years in the rearview and the troika of Buck, Mills, and Stipe appear to be pulling apart in three disparate but indistinct directions. Slick production touches and almost literally phoned-in performances from the principals leave the album devoid of any spirit. The record was written during a time of intense political alienation for the steadfastly left Stipe, but even his attempts at political commentary, on tracks like "Leaving New York," Final Straw" or "The Outsiders" read as a pale shadow of R.E.M.'s earlier work.