Out of Time is SO much more consistent than Automatic for the People. At first, I got annoyed when I saw this... but I think you may be right. I prefer Automatic, but I don't think many can outshine the tracks of Automatic, perhaps 'Low' and 'Country Feedback'.
this song makes me cry, seriously. the part which Stipe sings "all my life... waiting to find" is one of the finest moments in the whole R.E.M. career. it sounds like the pain of leaving all the past behind but also a motivation to look ahead.