In their video for Accelerate track “Man-Sized Wreath,” R.E.M. ups the production value from their recent Vincent Moon clips to a computer animated world of heavy-hand political statement — video game oil men, Tiananmen Square references, and billboard-sized shots of the lyrics telling us to do something or other about this or that. The video was made by the appropriately named Toronto-based advertising agency Crush, Inc., who also handled “Hollow Man.” As Stipe told the Associated Press last month, “The music video is a dead medium so I didn’t want to go to that industry to create a piece.” So, instead, he went to a worse industry.
The band previewed snippets from it at a Madison Square Garden show last month, but now that you have the whole storyline, it probably makes even less sense. Better, more human video treatment for the same basic message.