Although R.E.M. has been broken up for eight years this month, they have been making a lot of news. First was the news about the 25th anniversary edition of Monster and now they have released “Fascinating.” “Fascinating” first appeared on the original master of 2001’s Reveal before being cut last minute. “It’s really beautiful,” said bassist/keyboardist Mike Mills. “It has a flute, oboe arrangement, but it made the record too long…and something had to go.” R.E.M. rerecorded the track in Nassau for 2004’s Around the Sun, but the lush ballad didn’t quite fit that album. Over piano with electronic flourishes, the song finds Stipe’s gravelly vocals finding a new sweetness. The chamber pop ending cements “Fascinating” as one of R.E.M. most beautiful of the 2000s.
All proceeds from the song will go to benefit global organization Mercy Corps’ Hurricane Dorian relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas. “I have been fortunate to spend many weeks working and playing in the Bahamas, making friends and lots of music there,” reflects Mills. “It breaks my heart to see the damage wrought by Hurricane Dorian. Please help us and Mercy Corps do what we can to alleviate the suffering caused by this catastrophe.”