R.E.M. released a new album every single year from 1983 and 1988. More impressive than their prolificacy is the fact that each new release showed marked improvement in the band's songwriting and overall vision.
Reckoning, R.E.M.'s second album, seems like it has a lot more purpose than Murmur. "Harborcoat" kicks off the album with as good a piece of jangle pop as could be had in the entirety of the genre. The next three songs are all good candidates for any R.E.M. greatest hits compilations, and the entire album is a solid chunk of classic R.E.M. Clearly the band was beginning to see just how great they could be, and it shows.