Radiohead
In Rainbows


5.0
classic

Review

by Reckoner USER (1 Reviews)
August 9th, 2008 | 33 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A modern classic from the best band in the world.

Before the release of In Rainbows Radiohead, already established as one of the greatest and most important bands of the 90s had the task of carrying over the reputation into the current decade. The release of Kid A in 2000 was certainly the way to go about this and despite the sceptics that believed Radiohead should have stuck to guitar music it’s now taken as a significant and impressive album. Then came Amnesiac the leftovers from the Kid A sessions, at times over experimental, at other times brilliant but overall a solid album. Hail to the Thief was similar but more of a blend than Amnesiac, more representative of Radiohead’s abilities. Both great albums met with positive reception and charting success, the problem was these weren’t albums to set Radiohead apart from the other popular artists of this time period. Before In Rainbows it would have been fair to say Kid A was Radiohead’s last groundbreaking album. With Radiohead-influenced bands thriving the influencers themselves needed to re-establish themselves as a great band, or rather to remind the world that they are. With In Rainbows Radiohead have succeeded.

Just the release method alone when announced sent ripples through the world of music, the reason for the pay-what-you-like is uncertain but it seems likely that it was a publicity stunt, if so it definitely grabbed the attention it desired. Initials fears of the death of the record industry were over exaggerated of course, the band had always stated their intention to sign to a new label. The distribution of In Rainbows increased the pressure on Radiohead, they worst thing they could have done was to release a bad album and end up with a reputation of washed up attention seekers.

In Rainbows is the coherent and creative blend of musical styles that Hail to the Thief was not. Musically it’s like 10 genres fitted into one 10-track album. Bodysnatchers is as close as we get to classic Radiohead, we have no idea what Thom Yorke is talking about but we like the guitar playing. 15 Step is a perfect album and concert opener, upbeat and catchy with kids shouting “yeah” at opportune moments. Reckoner is a beautiful song, sung completely in falsetto and featuring expansive instrumentation it is reminiscent of Sigur Rós’ post-rock style.

In Rainbows is a highly refined album, many of the songs were developed and perfected in concert and there is an element of perfectionism in the final result. Nude is the best example of this, it took Radiohead 10 years to complete but it showcases some of Yorke’s best vocals and being a slow-paced song it is a surprising contrast to the fast opening that 15 Step and Bodysnatchers provided. The album continues to innovate, House of Cards is a spacey inconspicuous song while Jigsaw Falling Into Place is blatant pop rock and possibly the best track In Rainbows has to offer.

Videotape brings the album is an emotional conclusion and although Yorke has always been a proficient lyricist, his talents are perhaps most notable here or maybe on 15 Step which contains some of the smartest lyrics Yorke has come up with. However when Yorke wants to keep it simple he can as shown in All I Need, another one of the albums highlights. In terms of Radiohead’s piano based songs Videotape compares to the likes of Pyramid Song and I Want None of This with ease.

In Rainbows is a triumphant return to top form for Radiohead, a startling reminder that they are Radiohead, they are still the band that brought you OK Computer, The Bends and Kid A and reassurance that they can continue to create groundbreaking albums or the same quality.


user ratings (4463)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
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    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.......

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

    Brandon Garland (3.5)
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    Adam Downer STAFF (3)
    What happened to Radiohead?...

    Chris Baranowski (4.5)
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  • David James Young (4)
    An unpredictable record from the biggest unsigned band in the world....

    Daniel Incognito EMERITUS (4)
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    Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (4)
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    UncalledFor (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Thor
August 9th 2008


10200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

overrated album is overrated

plane
Staff Reviewer
August 9th 2008


6094 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I like this more than I did on its release.

P13
August 9th 2008


1327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Your review is mostly just radiohead fanboy rambling. I love the album but there are things wrong with it

SHOOTME
August 9th 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I agree with Thor.

Also, best band in the world? that just sounds silly.

SnackaryBinx
August 9th 2008


2309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

stopped reading at your summary. I have still yet to give this a listen. but that doesn't stop me from knowing that this will just be fanboyism rambling.

ninjuice
August 9th 2008


6760 Comments


^^^Actually if you know any of the song titles then you can pretty much tell that from his username.

marksellsuswallets
August 9th 2008


4848 Comments


Needs punctuation in a bad way.

StrizzMatik
August 9th 2008


3204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Overrated a bit and your review is completely unnecessary and guilty of insane fanboyism.

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

tinathefatlard
August 9th 2008


1600 Comments


Reckoner is a beautiful song, sung completely in falsetto and featuring expansive instrumentation it is reminiscent of Sigur Rós’ post-rock style.


Radiohead can try but they will never even touch what Sigur Ros has done.


Mikesn
Emeritus
August 9th 2008


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I like this more than I did on its release


Digging: Grimes - Visions

Shadowskos
August 9th 2008


352 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with some people that this album is overrated. There are 9 other reviews posted for this album, which makes this unnecessary. This Message Edited On 08.09.08

IAmInsect
August 9th 2008


3800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

there's no bias in this review at all

SHOOTME
August 9th 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Except for the summary...

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 9th 2008


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album rules

Burn2Burn
August 9th 2008


2378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

All I Need owns this cd

Doppelganger
August 9th 2008


3124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

15 Step is the best song on here obv

hummer
August 9th 2008


228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree with Thor.



Also, best band in the world? that just sounds silly.


Actually they are quite easily the best band in the world, have been since 1997, and possibly the best band of the last 25 years.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 9th 2008


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ya they kind of are one of the best bands in the world

Reckoner
August 9th 2008


4 Comments


This is the first review I've ever written so forgive me if it's not very good. However why are people judging the review from the summary, some of you without even reading the review.

Thor
August 9th 2008


10200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i mean they are but they've done way better



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