Radiohead: In Rainbows

Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2007 10:47 am
Radiohead's latest, In Rainbows, dropped two days ago. Which means right now, all other bands are feeling really bad about themselves.

I'm only on my third listen, so I'll provide more details later, but this is of the same quality as OK Computer and Kid A. That was the last thing I expected. I thought Hail to the Thief was so-so, and most bands lucky enough to release two groundbreaking albums typically fade soon after.

Holy ****!

Oh, and I paid nothing, my girlfriend burned it for me. But it's good enough that I might go the official site and pitch in, as, really, I should.
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Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2007 10:57 am
I read that the average "sale" has been $10. Fascinating.
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Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2007 01:06 pm
I've been contemplating sending Zeke a check for thirty dollars for all of the music I have of theirs. I have it all written out; it just needs the date.

I think that with what Radiohead is doing, I'll finally send it.
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Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 09:55 am
For a real review, here's Pitchfork's analysis: In Rainbows Review.

Here's an eliptical description--honestly, crudely basic--of my reaction after five or so listens:

After seven albums, Radiohead is necessarily at the point where each album from this point forward is going to sound like...Radiohead. Which shouldn't be a problem for most fans, I imagine. That being said, In Rainbows manages to sound like Radiohead in a new shade. It has its own unique texture, and maintains the unity of OK Computer and Kid A. It's an album you want to listen to from beginning to end.

I'm at work, so I can't speak as articulately about each track as I would if I were listening to the album as I write this. But that will save time, so that's convenient. But the album opens up with two songs, "15 Step" and "Bodysnatchers," posessing the guitar-packed sonic power Radiohead has always been capable of (remember Pablo Honey?), and which I would really like to see a return to in the future.

From there they move to "Nude," which fans who have recently seen the band live know has been around at least since the Kid A era. A typically lovely Radiohead ballad, its placement here evokes "How to Disappear Completely," but the song is satisfying nonetheless. I mean, I never get tired of this trick.

"Arpeggi" puts a new spin on a familiar Johnny Greenwood guitar tone married to another mechanical yet rolling Phil Selway beat.

"All I Need" is my favorite track. Another ballad, but a standout among all Radiohead ballads. You might associate it with OK Computer's closing tracks, "Lucky" and "The Tourist," for its not-fully-developed-Polaroid-snapshot lyrics over a gradually building, epic crescendo. But familiar Radiohead sounds are again beautifully rearranged here.

The first verse is:

I'm the next act
Waiting in the wings
I'm an animal
Trapped in your hot car
I am all the days that you choose to ignore

So ends the first side, as solid as any first side in my entire record collection.

"Faust ARP": An accoustic ditty I'm sure I'll warm up to in subsequent listens, which I presently regard as a nice bridge to "Reckoner."

"Reckoner": My girlfriend's favorite, I find the guitar too similar to Amnesiac's "Knives Out" and OK's "Paranoid Android." Yorke's falsetto I find predictable in this context. But I think a lot of people love this song.

Boy do I like "House of Cards," the strum and slap groove under which the importance of Colin Greenwood's bass work ought to be recognized. Here the falsetto is well-placed, and the verses delicately uttered.

"Jigsaw Falling into Place" is an appropriate title for the ninth track, in that, after only a few listens admittedly, it feels like a placeholder simply there to keep the puzzle together. It's an up-tempo accoustic guitar groove with enjoyable harmonies hummed throughout, but it has yet to show me a distinct personality. It sounds like Radiohead background music.

The last song, "Videotape," is what you'd expect to close a Radiohead album since Kid A. Piano, bass, and Thom Yorke. I've paid the least attention to this song, so if you're not already taking this review with a grain of salt, now is the time.

Overall, I should reiterate: I can't believe they're still generating such quality music. I haven't been this excited about the band in years. It's fun to fall in love with Radiohead again.
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Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 10:33 am
Cool. I'll have to get this tonight.
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Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 10:54 am
Remember, it's downloadable only. Until January, I heard. But you choose how much you pay!

Here's where to buy: In Rainbows
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