Entertainment Weekly (11/26/99, p.99) - "...features choice dialogue and kitschy ephemera, but the real draw is R.E.M., who offer an evocative instrumental score and two memorable songs..." - Rating: B+
Q (1/00, p.114) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...offers firm proof that the trinity remains creatively vibrant....will serve to remind the listener of the movie's many charms."
Uncut (1/02, p.87) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...[The CD] includes a bonus in the form of a near-perfect replication of the theme to 'Taxi', one of the sweetest pieces of music composed in the Seventies..."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/00, p.103) - "...much to lure the diehard R.E.M. fan....the new song ['The Great Beyond'] has...spare, subdued vocals, eerie keyboards, anthemic build-up, it's a fine track that would have sat comfortably on their reflective last album UP."
Original score composed by R.E.M.
"The Great Beyond" was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.
As 1999 closed out, the genius of anarchist comedian Andy Kaufman came to light in a Milos Forman film named for an early '90s R.E.M. SONG that was a tribute to the late entertainer. Fittingly, the Athens, GA group was brought in to compose the score. Like the quirky comic, the soundtrack to his life story is an unconventional collection of songs. Aural landmarks include the previously released title track, the Sandpipers' "Mighty Mouse Theme (Here I Come to Save the Day)" (which Kaufman used as a lip-synch prop during his now infamous debut on Saturday Night Live), Bob James' "Angela (Theme From Taxi)," and chunks of film dialogue.
Much like his heralded performance in the film, Jim Carrey reprises both Kaufman and his obnoxious alter ego Tony Clifton on the soundtrack. Although a boorish take on "I Will Survive" by Clifton is best skipped over, more appealing is Kaufman/Carrey and R.E.M. teaming up on the catchy sweetness of "This Friendly World," which is minimally affected by the arrival of Clifton/Carrey mid-song. The only new R.E.M. song, "The Great Beyond," is a sublimely moody piece overflowing with odd instrumentation and pathos.