Radiohead
In Rainbows


4.0
excellent

Review

by Daniel Incognito EMERITUS
October 12th, 2007 | 22 replies | 13,290 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another continuation in the overall Radiohead style, and one which executes its design with precision and skill. The music itself is not overshadowed by its hype or advertising, and instead draws in attention to its variety of moods and tones.

With capturing the essence of an album, many music lovers tend to glorify their favourite bands. So many bands tend to be described as producing at a level of creativity or genius far and above the music industry as a whole. With so many artists supposedly reaching unparalleled new heights, it is easy to feel some scepticism as to the validity of all these praising claims. Whether Radiohead are conformers, push the envelope, or create whole new areas of music is entirely up to the individual who describes their influence on the music industry. Yet to place them in their own world, far removed from the condition of the music industry is a claim hard to back. They certainly have done much to explore the crevices of musical sound, but the range with which they cover is miniscule compared to what can be created. A common focus is on the different sounds of each Radiohead album, but ultimately underlying each album is a common style; their own unique style. In Rainbows is another genus of their family of sounds.

As a part of their marketing mix, the music itself does not become overshadowed by the other factors. As much as the place and promotion of the album have encouraged interest and excitement, they do not dominant the overall experience. It is a credit to Radiohead that whether the music is as good as it could have been or not, the album itself offers enough intrigue to avoid a shallow package. Thus instead of detracting from the experience, the somewhat unique promotion of the album contributes to the music, adding value for the listener.

One area in which Radiohead excel is in knowing what to put emphasis on, and how to remove over saturation of noise. This is displayed in Reckoner, with the long introductory build up combining numerous sounds of interest, from the drawling vocals to the unbalanced but propulsive drumming. Equal emphasis is given to all aspects, but rather than a state of anarchy in the negative sense, they do not collide but work together, and allow for each to develop their path. Even when more distortion and a thicker sound is used, each part still has its place and the pieces contribute rather than create a conflicting swarm of sound. At times this resonates in a rather clear and sharp production style. Each part is not given an over-grandiose purpose, but rather fits into a plan, executed with precision.

One may describe the mood of the album in line with the tone of Thom Yorke’s vocals. Yet descriptions of depression or mellowness do not do the album justice. The emphasis with which Yorke uses in some songs such as Weird Fishes/Arpeggi do not point towards an attitude of melancholy, his passion undermines such descriptions. Thom Yorke’s vocal tone and style is certainly in some way unique, with much drawling and little annunciation. To describe his style may be appropriate, but the overall mood of the album does not conform to one descriptor. The album does not cover a rainbow of sounds, though Yorke’s vocals and the other instrumentation certainly does have a design or plan that covers a wide range. The execution on this is often stellar, and as a result In Rainbows seems to deliver time and again in unfurling its complex but precise design.

Whether or not the album is as classic as its predecessors is listener defined. It is however noteworthy as part of their strand of sound. The music within the album has many sides to it, and the execution gives each aspect enough emphasis to add to the sound without creating clutter or over saturation. The music is just one part of the album’s marketing mix, but thankfully it is not overwhelmed. However the music is done justice by the promotion and product placement, rather than merely living up to the hype and promotion. Radiohead are merely another band, they do some things better than most, and some worse than most, and In Rainbows is no exception. Their style however is removed enough from the norm to entice listeners, and something within their style has struck a chord with many. But to say we are the Radiohead generation is a fallacy; their music is simply a part of a generation. Ultimately, Radiohead and In Rainbows fall within rather than outside or above.



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user ratings (4395)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • cagedbutterfly (3.5)
    Radiohead rises from the ashes of their past 3 albums and compose a beauty of a record....

    Ryder631 (5)
    After crafting songs of exquisitely Orwellian paranoia for over a decade, Radiohead give u...

    shauryapatel (4.5)
    What were the fans left with after the 'pay what you want' hype was cleared? The collectio...

    Justin Swope (5)
    In Rainbows is another breathtaking passage into the mind of Radiohead, presenting an exqu...

  • someguest (4.5)
    When I'm at the pearly gates......

    pye3214 (5)
    A modern classic and a must listen for everyone, not just Radiohead fans....

    Kuo (5)
    In conclusion this album is a classic, it is easily accessible to most listeners fan or no...

    Kiet Truong (4.5)
    An album that will most likely go down in history as Radiohead’s album that revolutioniz...

  • Alex Getter (4.5)
    Radiohead at their most intimate in years; In Rainbows is their own collection of "seducti...

    Tom Gellatly (4.5)
    An understated, consistently enjoyable album, In Rainbows feels like a wonderful comeback ...

    Nathan (4.5)
    Radiohead's unusual marketing ploy on In Rainbows may be what is most remembered looking b...

    Leslie W (4)
    Mesmerizing.......

  • Reckoner (5)
    A modern classic from the best band in the world....

    RJayZ (4.5)
    It's not easy writing a masterpiece. It's a lot less easy following one up....

    Brandon Garland (3.5)
    Although not as impressive as an Opeth album, Radiohead damn well tries to impress the Spu...

    Adam Downer STAFF (3)
    What happened to Radiohead?...

  • Chris Baranowski (4.5)
    In Rainbows is beautiful in its simplicity and once again proves that Radiohead are the ki...

    David James Young (4)
    An unpredictable record from the biggest unsigned band in the world....

    Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (4)
    With the addition of a second disc, In Rainbows loses some flow but maintains the original...

    UncalledFor (4)
    May initially feel like a Let Down with No Surprises to be found (because it has Everythin...

  • Porter W. Richards (4.5)
    Dark. Disturbing. Lush, yet subdued. In Rainbows is everything fans hoped for....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is more a response than anything, which is perhaps not the best framework from which to write the review. But oh well.

Abaddon2005
October 12th 2007



684 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Pretty good review, though I feel you could have expanded that third paragraph a bit more. And though I understand that the first sentence of that last paragraph plays a role for the paragraph itself, it's kind of an obvious statement.

Zebra
Moderator
October 12th 2007



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

[quote=Liberi]This is more a response than anything,[/quote] I was thinking the same thing while I was reading the review. That being said I still thought that this was a good review and an interesting read as well.

Apocalyptic Raids
October 12th 2007



810 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

nice review.

the album is pretty good too.

Altmer
October 12th 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review but I have to with Zebra's rating here

McP3000
October 12th 2007



3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

It's more a reaction to the hype and surge of Radiohead frenzy than it is to the album. The review was good, but it strayed too far away from the overall point of a review...the actual album.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's more a reaction to the hype and surge of Radiohead frenzy than it is to the album
I disagree with that.

I do react to the hype and frenzy in part, but largely I think it is a reaction to another interpretation of the album. One which I think misses the essence of the album.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really well written concession to a lot of the points I made, although I think you may have misinterpreted what I said, which could have been my fault for not describing my thoughts well enough. Anyway, the whole "Radiohead Generation" comment was more of a satirical remark on how the entire October 10 download thing played out. Also, I meant to convey that I felt their entire career was a rainbow of colors, not just this album.

Still, great work.

Two-Headed Boy
October 12th 2007



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. Album's awesome.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2007



2670 Comments


I like reviews like this, mostly because all my reviews ever are are just really really really long sound-offs. Good job, and nice to see you in the reviewing fold once again.

Neoteric
October 12th 2007



3243 Comments


This is my favourite review of the album, amazing review.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really well written concession to a lot of the points I made, although I think you may have misinterpreted what I said, which could have been my fault for not describing my thoughts well enough. Anyway, the whole "Radiohead Generation" comment was more of a satirical remark on how the entire October 10 download thing played out. Also, I meant to convey that I felt their entire career was a rainbow of colors, not just this album.


It was in part a reaction to your review, but equally a reaction to the most common comments I see in regards to Radiohead. People always seem to define each album as having vastly different styles. But I believe each Radiohead album merely stems from the their true style or essence. And I agree with the whole rainbow of colours argument, it could be said of many other bands too. But in regards to what can be created, it is a miniscule range they have covered, and they merely are a part of music. And I better stop rambling before I just cover my whole review.

But please don't misconstrue my review (not that you seem to have). I thought your review was well written (better than mine), and had many valid arguments. This Message Edited On 10.12.07This Message Edited On 10.12.07

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh no, I didn't think it was entirely a concession on my review, but I just wanted to point out what I found.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet as then.

Aficionado
October 13th 2007



1027 Comments


Perhaps I should listen to this album. Great review as always dude.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2007



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8 | Sound Off

It's free, might as well.

Yyy
October 14th 2007



289 Comments


100/5

innerdark
October 15th 2007



749 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm really not sure where I stand with this album tbh. I love 15 Step and Bodysnatchers, and I like Jigsaw... but the rest... I dunno... It's the only reason I've not rated it yet

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
October 15th 2007



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd recommend you give Weird Fishes/Arpeggi another listen, it is quite top notch.

plane
Staff Reviewer
October 15th 2007



6094 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Album starts with Weird Fishes, basically.



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