Review Summary: May initially feel like a Let Down with No Surprises to be found (because it has Everything In Its Right Place), but Just let it Creep further into your mind - you might get Lucky, or I Might Be Wrong.
While I'll agree that summary sucked, this new album by Radiohead does not! It's great, actually.
Best to get it out of the way immediately - Radiohead is one of my all-time favorite bands and barring Pablo Honey
I think every album they've put out is phenomenal. I noticed how each of their CDs have a sizeable amount of people that swear by it. That's really a rare thing for 6 albums in a row - in fact, the only other group to pull that off springing to mind are the Beatles. Radiohead takes big risks on every release, but still keeps a steady quality to their material, easily recognizable as the Radiohead touch.
follows the same principle. There is classic stuff here as well as bold experiments, and each of the songs has been given attention and care to get it across in the best way possible.
A few tracks stand out immediately. Faust Arp
can serve as a spiritual follow-up to HTTT
's I will
. The initial tackiness of time signature changes is smoothened by a georgeous, Beatles-esque string arrangement. Before you know it you're submerged in a resigned folk ballad - beautiful and highly addictive. Weird fishes/Arpeggi
takes an arpeggiated guitar duet over rolling drums to the greatest composition U2's The Edge never wrote. House of cards
is highly atmospheric, both eccentric and conventional in composition, and lives up to the best stuff on Kid A
Yorke has to be applauded for the wonderful job of connecting the band's understated performances to the listener, especially on the songs that initially seem underwhelming (15 step
, All I need
). Concentrating on his performance, you'll gradually get acquainted with the music supporting him, to the point where it rises above the predicate "supporting". This is very rewarding and probably why Radiohead is loved so widely.
So, what really defines In rainbows
? In this reviewer's eyes, it's their most anthological album so far. It contains verse-chorus-verse ethics of The bends
, sophisticated indie of OK computer
, droney atmospheres of Kid A
, eerie minimalism of Amnesiac
and frenzy of Hail to the thief
. Also, there is more focus on guitar again, often in a very suitable 70's way (For example Jigsaw falling into place
fondly reminds of Led Zeppelin and C,S,N&Y).
This doesn't mean it leaves nothing to be desired, though. Bodysnatchers
stands alone as the classic Radiohead rock-out song, and leaves a craving for more. Album closer Videotape
(This is my way of saying goodbye/Because i can't do it face to face/I'm talking to you/After it's too late/From my videotape) is incredibly moving, but at the same time, ending the album on such a depressing note is cruel even by their standards. At 42 and a half minutes, the album is rather short. I can't help but wonder if the addition of two or three of the 8 songs coming out on the bonus CD wouldn't have solidified In rainbows
even more (leaving room on the bonus CD for, say, some I might be wrong
Of course they might just pull a Radiohead and send all the pre-orderers 18 completely new tracks. Wouldn't that be awesome?
Anyway, it's a great album. Buy it! At £0,00 they’re practically throwing it away! That’s right, Radiohead haters! They made another throwaway album!