Radiohead
In Rainbows


4.5
superb

Review

by RJayZ USER (4 Reviews)
January 20th, 2008 | 34 replies | 4,234 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's not easy writing a masterpiece. It's a lot less easy following one up.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

It's hard to follow up on a masterpiece. I bet Picasso hated painting because he knew everyone would compare it to his last piece. Van Gough probably cut his ear off so he'd stop hearing "It's amazing! Perfect! It cannot be topped!" and could get on with his work. No artist, whether they be a painter, sculptor or what have you would want to follow up on a masterpiece. Especially not musicians. Who would want the burden of following on from their absolute best work? Work people are telling them they'll never out do. It must be a daunting thought, and very few musicians have ever managed to accomplish the task. Those of you who know me will know I consider each member of Pink Floyd some kind of deity, but not even they managed to ever really rise higher than Dark Side. So Radiohead were pretty ***ed after they released OK Computer, weren't they?

OK Computer was, by any stretch of the word, a masterpiece. It was simply brilliant. It is, in my opinion, the best album since Dark Side of the Moon. So whatever album that came after it had a lot of work to do and a lot of ground to cover. Thankfully, Radiohead knew this. And they did the extra work, and covered the extra ground. It still wasn't good enough, though. Kid A was excellent, don't get me wrong, but OK Computer is still an entire league above it. Kid A achieved well deserved success, yet still people doubted it. It was still compared to OK Computer. It could still be construed as a disappointment. What about their next release, then? Could the Kid's sister album, Amnesiac, blow it away and stand tall next to daddy OK Computer? Well, no. Not at all, really. Amnesiac was great, but, it wasn't even as good as Kid A, let alone OK Computer. It was more or a less a b-sides album from the Kid A writing days.
Hail to the Thief was the next release from the Oxford boys, and sadly, it wasn't much better than Amnesiac. Again, I'd never call it bad, because it simply isn't. It's opening track is brilliant and just today I bought a shirt with lyrics from We Suck Young Blood plastered on the front. I enjoyed the album immensely. Would I compare it to OK? Never in a million years.

So, overall, the band was suffering from masterpiece problems. They simply couldn't match their masterpiece. They couldn't put anything in the same league as it. The albums were never bad, but you always had this feeling that you were listening to the second best the band had to offer. You knew Let Down and No Surprises alone would never get boring, and that you should probably be listening to them. So what about their latest release, In Rainbows? Well we'll start with the title. It's a bit daft, isn't it? Kid A makes me think of cloning. OK Computer makes me think of how we rely on computers for everything. The Bends reminds me of being sick. In Rainbows reminds me Judy Garland. I won't judge a book by it's cover, so lets get to the music, shall we?
The opener is interesting. It seems from the first 20 or so seconds that Radiohead are sticking to the electronica thing. Until something shocking happens. A clean guitar kicks in. As does real drumming, and even bass. It starts to form a song actually very much like something from OK Computer, which can't be bad. And it really isn't. The next track, Bodysnatchers, is even more surprising. It's almost aggressive, it's energetic, and it sounds like the band had a good amount of fun playing it. That certainly makes a refreshing change. Everytime I listen to Kid A I wonder if Thom Yorke will be alive in 10 minutes time, or if he's finally going to kill himself.
As we progress through the tracks, the album keeps on surprising me. The band seems both energetic and relaxed at almost all times. The ballads flow fantastically, it feels like an amazing combination of both old and new and yet it never feels like you've heard it before. Even though you probably have, as half the tracks are roughly 10 year old live b-sides revamped. It's a great union of fantastic styles, each one done amazingly well, and it feels like finally, Radiohead have discovered who they are and what they want to do. It's utterly amazing.

It's not all sunshine and lollypops with Mrs. Garland, however. The album does have weaker points. House of Cards, for example, is stripped from an REM album and given better vocals. It's still a good listen, but it's a tad too long and a tad too dull. Faust Arp is the exact opposite, however. The fact it's so short and simple makes it seem almost out of place on the album, thus making it the weakest track on the album. Some people say Arpeggi is another low point, and although I can understand why it's fast tempo yet clean, soothing guitar and weird tempo changes could annoy people, I still think it's a great song.
These few low points are, however, not bad. They're still good, great even. They just aren't quite as good as the album's showstoppers. And boy, oh boy, what showstoppers they are.
I previously mentioned Bodysnatcher's, but I'm mentioning it again just to prove to you how good it is.
Jigsaw Falling Into Place is, in my opinion, by far the album's best song. In fact, it's one of Radiohead's overall best songs. The way it progresses is fantastic, especially Thom Yorke's amazing vocals on the track, which start at quiet, almost spoken verses to amazing, energetic, almost agitated bellows. Videotape is another classic, sitting among their epic ballads such as Pyramid Song and How I Made My Millions rather comfortably.
And finally, how could I not give mention to All I Need? The song is so beautiful, it's almost brought me to tears at times.

So, the big question. Would I compare to OK Computer? Is it finally the follow up to the masterpiece? Is it what Radiohead fans around the world have been waiting for? Well, actually, yes. Yes it bloody well is. I've not enjoyed an album so much, and so frequently I might add, for a very long time. It's not quite as good as OK Computer, but it doesn't stand in its shadow. It stands next to the masterpiece, proud and tall, and that's where it deserves to be. Some might even say it's a masterpiece in its own right, and their argument would likely hold more water than those who say Kid A was. In fact, if you pressed me hard enough, I might even say it myself.


user ratings (4207)
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....

    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....

    Daniel Incognito EMERITUS (4)
    Another continuation in the overall Radiohead style, and one which executes its design wit...

    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 
Xenocide
January 20th 2008



35 Comments


I like In Rainbows as much i like Kid A, i don't think that its anything amazing, but hey, if it was playing, i wouldn't complain.

BlindWriting
January 20th 2008



102 Comments


[Quote=]I bet Picasso hated painting because he knew everyone would compare it to his last piece. Van Gough probably cut his ear off so he'd stop hearing "It's amazing! Perfect! It cannot be topped!" and could get on with his work.[/QUOTE]
Drop this intro. It's a ridiculous perspective on art.

Not a bad review, even though House of Cards is a work of perfection. Still, you start out the review apparently complaining about comparisons to previous works and yet you end it by comparing it to OK Computer. Er...


FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
January 20th 2008



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Van Gogh cut off his ear so he could continue living he was so poor. He was never all that famous during his lifetime, only starting to receive major acclaim in his last few years. I really didn't bother reading on after that.This Message Edited On 01.20.08This Message Edited On 01.20.08

RJayZ
January 20th 2008



84 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The beginning was actually a joke. I don't claim to know about art, mostly because I, er...don't. I apologize if it somehow offended you, though I think it's a little harsh of you to judge the entire review on one joke?

BlindWriting: I wasn't complaining about the comparisons. If it came off that way I really need to pay more attention to what I write. It just seemed fitting to end the review on the same note it really began. This Message Edited On 01.20.08

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
January 20th 2008



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It didn't offend me, but I'm just saying that you should be factually accurate with your reviews.

RJayZ
January 20th 2008



84 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'll keep that in mind for my next review. I thought it seemed fairly obvious it was a joke. I can't believe I spelled his name wrong, though, haha.

Next time I'll do my research beforehand, rather than making a bad, inaccurate joke that could bring down the rest of the review. Thanks.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2008



15693 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8 | Sound Off

Your joke is just not funny. Take it out and review improves.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins® [AMDISCS]

TheGreatD17
January 21st 2008



1141 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This review is meh, especially since I disagree with your points about Radiohead and Pink Floyd, and it has strange breaks for those sub-paragraphs or whatever those are.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2008



15693 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8 | Sound Off

Oh and Amnesiac owns, shutup.

RJayZ
January 21st 2008



84 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I never said Amnesiac was bad. I just said it wasn't on par with Kid A, which in my opinion it isn't. Aside from Pablo, I consider it their worst effort.

Also: thanks for the comments everyone. I'll try improve my writing for whatever it is I review next. I appreciate all advice/criticisms. =]This Message Edited On 01.21.08

NortherlyNanook
January 21st 2008



1285 Comments


Oh and Amnesiac owns, shutup.


Not really.

McP3000
January 21st 2008



3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Amnesiac is the worst tbqh

I agree with the album rating tbqh



Flyboy
January 21st 2008



394 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just listened to In Rainbows again and I am going to have to change my rating from a 3 to a 3.5. I am still not feeling it. Favorite song without a doubt is 15 Step. It gives of a great mood.

Great review btw.

Confessed2005
January 21st 2008



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just got this. It's really cool. Very relaxing too.

Serpento
January 21st 2008



2351 Comments


The entire review seems almost...forced. Not necessarily bad, but like you're trying to say everything at once in a very clunky way.

Album is getting higher in the ratings.

tcaporale
January 21st 2008



177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hmm...most of people who listen to the album say that Arpeggi is one of the best tracks on the album, maybe THE best. It's my favorite on the album. And House of Cards is friggin' awesome.

Altmer
January 21st 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

EC is right guys admit it

Confessed2005
January 21st 2008



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm really surprised I like Radiohead so much.

Because I really fucking hate Muse.This Message Edited On 01.21.08

MediocreAtBest
January 21st 2008



1473 Comments


I'm really surprised I like Radiohead so much.

Because I really fucking hate Muse.


You shouldn't be suprised; the two bands are so musically different. The whole comparison thing is blown way out of proportion IMO as the only similarity is the singers, and even at that they don't usually sing the same way.

Confessed2005
January 21st 2008



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bellamy wails and moans. Yorke sings.

And boy does he sing well.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy