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When R.E.M. finished recording its 15th studio album in Nashville last year, guitarist and founding member Peter Buck continued an annual ritual.Instead of flying home to the Pacific Northwest, he drove from Tennessee to Portland, Ore., passing through Utah on the way. The Beehive state boasts "one of the best drives on Earth," he said in an interview.On the drive, he listened to the just-completed album, "Collapse Into Now," over and over again."I've always known how good or bad our albums are," he said. "We've done records I've been dissatisfied with."Buck paused before adding a comment that will sound like music to the ears of R.E.M, fans everywhere: "This felt like a pretty good album."

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