R.E.M's new album "sounds really classic" and will be "beautiful and heartbreaking" according to the band.

The group recorded 'Collapse Into Now' - their 15th album - in Germany and America over the last year and guitarist Peter Buck is confident it's the band's best work to date.

He said: "I've always tended not to say, 'It's the greatest record we've ever done,' because that's what everyone does and it's usually bull***t.

"But this one feels like every song, all the way through, is great. I hate to say that, but that's just The Feeling. It's got some beautiful, heartbreaking things as well as some really noisy rock and everything between. It sounds really classic."

The album features guest appearances from electro pop singer Peaches, Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder and punk legend Patti Smith, and although the band has toured extensively in recent years, Peter said he feels they could be tempted back onto the road.

He added to NME magazine: "I'd really like to do it, but we've toured a lot, so we'll see. What I will say is that when Eddie Vedder was listening to a playback of the album he said, 'This would be great to take on tour'. But we'll see."