Radiohead
In Rainbows


3.5
great

Review

by Brandon Garland USER (2 Reviews)
December 6th, 2007 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Although not as impressive as an Opeth album, Radiohead damn well tries to impress the Sputnik community

While I am a relative newcomer to Radiohead, I’ve fallen in love very quickly. Everything they touch seems to be golden (aside from the misstep that is Hail to the Thief). My sister told me for years how amazing this band was, but I dismissed it as the same alt-rock crap that she generally listened to. Mind you that my sister is 6 years older than me and her music taste was always a bit more refined than mine up until recently. While I was listening to Taproot and Mudvayne, she was listening to Sloan, the Afghan Whigs, and Nine Inch Nails. That brings me to the review of In Rainbows’ second disc.

The first thing that struck me was how well this companion piece seemed to flow. Every song and segue seemed to fit perfectly into place. If listened in conjunction with In Rainbows, it flows masterfully into this disc. When listened separately it flows together well as an EP. Unlike Kid A and Amnesiac, where both of the albums seemed to be different takes on the same view, In Rainbows discs are complete complimentary pieces. Disc 2 contains a few chill-out tracks, and a number of mid-tempo rockers, just like disc 1. But what really surprised me was Radiohead’s ability to leave me wanting even more. After 18 tracks total, you would think the album would start to get boring, but it never does. Thom’s voice is just as sweet as ever, and the band is in top form all the way through.

Take “Down is the New Up”; the piano at the beginning plays on Thom’s voice superbly. Towards the middle of the song the focus shifts to guitar, bass, and violins, leaving the piano in the background to keep the song on the same idea. While I’m not huge on having to know what a singer is actually saying, Thom is able to convey the overall message of this song through the way he performs it. The next track is “Go Slowly” which is an almost ambient sounding, post-rock track. Absolutely stunning in its simplicity, this track is my favorite on this disc and maybe my favorite on the whole album. It is comprised of layers of guitar, (both acoustic and electric) a simple bass line, and a strange synthesized buzzing. The next actual song is “Last Flowers” which somewhat follows the same formula as “Go Slowly”. It is a piano based track with no drums. The song is good, but fails to impress because it is so similar to the song before it. Now we’re on to “Up on the Ladder”, a slow track kept moving by the quarter note hits on a bass drum. They sound either like a drum machine, or triggered from the actual bass drum. The synthetic textures in this song are amazing and keep you wondering how these guys seem to come up with this stuff. The song keeps with the pop sensibilities of the band, but can keep any “underground” listener intrigued. Next up is “Bangers and Mash”, the heaviest rocker on the whole album. This is a basic Radiohead rock track. It’s not extremely technical, but it keeps your head bobbing. The guitar effects are great, the drumming is precise, and the bass keeps the floor shaking. Thom’s vocal approach is also effective. He uses a more dreamy landscape while the band takes a more typical rock approach in the songwriting. The last song is “4 Minute Warning”, an almost upbeat slow jam. It sounds as they are using an upright bass, some strange guitar effects, and drumsticks on a tambourine. The song segues into a piano and guitar interlude which features lush harmonies. The song is a great way to end this album.

If listened as a whole In Rainbows is one of the more enjoyable albums I’ve heard in recent memory. If this disc is listened as a separate piece, it’s slightly less amazing. While some people have seen this effort as lackluster, I see it as revolutionary and awe-inspiring. Not only in it’s marketing, but also in it’s total content. Listen to this album as a whole and enjoy one of the best bands in our generation. I think we’ll see Radiohead go down as this century’s amazing innovators.

Ratings
In Rainbows as a whole: 4.5
In Rainbows Disc 2: 3.5


user ratings (4524)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
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    shauryapatel (4.5)
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    Justin Swope (5)
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  • someguest (4.5)
    When I'm at the pearly gates......

    pye3214 (5)
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    In conclusion this album is a classic, it is easily accessible to most listeners fan or no...

    Kiet Truong (4.5)
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  • Alex Getter (4.5)
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    Tom Gellatly (4.5)
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    Leslie W (4)
    Mesmerizing.......

  • Reckoner (5)
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    Adam Downer STAFF (3)
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    Chris Baranowski (4.5)
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  • David James Young (4)
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    Daniel Incognito EMERITUS (4)
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    Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
DeadToPain
December 6th 2007


694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is only my second review, so please be gentle. all crit is enjoyable. also the summary was supposed to be a little tongue in cheek. i do like opeth.

Merkaba33
December 6th 2007


702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think your sister has a better taste of music. I didn't know this was out yet. I'll have to check it out.

ColdDamnation
December 6th 2007


159 Comments


oohhhh I almost forgot they were releasing a second disk...good good

plane
Staff Reviewer
December 6th 2007


6099 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

You should really review the album as a whole, since it has now been released that way.

ColdDamnation
December 6th 2007


159 Comments


opeth is damn amazing...top 3 best bands ever put together...

DeadToPain
December 6th 2007


694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i agree that my sister did have better taste in music. we lived together when i was 19-20, i'm now 26 and love just about everything she does. she was a wonderful teacher. also, i am planning on doing this as a whole. i just wanted to get this in first to hone my chops a bit.

AggravatedYeti
December 6th 2007


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

hahaha 'tries to impress the Sputnik community', now thats funny. This is ok solely based on that header alone.


Chromophobia
December 6th 2007


1 Comments


You write as though you're better than people who listen to bands that aren't "underground." Try not to do that.

DeadToPain
December 6th 2007


694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh, god. i hope i don't come off like that. i just think radiohead does a good job of combining the two scenes, while keeping both parties happy. i listen to my fair share of mainstream bands and underground bands alike. where do you get the impression that i feel better than anyone else?This Message Edited On 12.06.07

DaveBum69
December 6th 2007


699 Comments


Hey don't pic on hail to the theif I liked that album lol

MoonlightBleeding
December 6th 2007


452 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

HTTT was alright.

DeadToPain
December 6th 2007


694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i just didn't find it to be as amazing as most of their work. who wants hamburger when you've had filet mignon?

MoonlightBleeding
December 6th 2007


452 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hail to the Thief was a loose anthology of their career. It brought nothing new to the table, it rehashed old stuff.

lunchforthesky
December 6th 2007


1039 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Last Flowers is beautiful. His voice cracks a lot in it but it sounds amazing.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
December 6th 2007


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah you should review the whole album not just a disc. I'll probably rewrite mine to include the second disc tomorrow.

DeadToPain
December 6th 2007


694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

don't get me wrong Lunch, i like the song, i just think it could have been placed better on the CD. it's just to similar to Go Slowly to blow my mind.

lunchforthesky
December 6th 2007


1039 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't think placement really matters seen as it's just a bsides collection really.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 6th 2007


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

HTTT is the best Radiohead overall imo. I haven't heard this yet but I'm sure I'll hear it soon enough.

lunchforthesky
December 6th 2007


1039 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

eww HTTT is the worst Radiohead by far. Well except Pablo but we don't talk about that.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
December 6th 2007


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

your summary makes me want to puke.



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