If you like your Michael Stipe vocals tender, romantic, and wistful, then congratulations, because you’ve won the last-REM-single lottery. One of three unreleased tracks that will appear on the band’s Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011 compilation, due out November 15th, “We All Go Back to Where We Belong” seems a fitting (if low-key) end to a three decade-long career. A soft pop tune that maintains a certain lightness and delicacy despite ample string and horn flourishes, it also has the timeless feel of a song that could have been recorded any time in the past half-century. The lyrics have a subtle sense of finality about them, as the title suggests. And although it’s a pretty polished piece, we find ourselves especially drawn to Stipe’s almost Dylan-esque wheeze in the final moments. Stream “We All Go Back to Where We Belong” at Rolling Stone.
Written by Judy Berman