In Rainbows



by cbmartinez USER (8 Reviews)
October 14th, 2007 | 21 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In Rainbows is beautiful in its simplicity and once again proves that Radiohead are the kings of reinvention.

In Rainbows, just like all six of the other albums, presents a band reinvented. Although already criticized by many for it's simplicity and minimalist approach, especially compared to the band's past work, it is the two aforementioned qualities that create the beautiful album that is In Rainbows. The album's flow is smooth although the tracks manage to vary in tempo and style. You have the catchy, dancy "Bodysnatchers," the acoustic driven "Faust Arp" and "Jigsaw Falling Into Place," the dark piano ballad "Videotape," the almost jazzy "House Of Cards." Every song is a beautiful piece of art and the way each song fades out and/or in gives the album a remarkable paradox of a feel; the sense of the album as one large portfolio of art is there, yet each song is presented as a different sphere or movement that is the symphony of In Rainbows.

Also present is a large influence of many of the elements used in Thom Yorke's solo album The Eraser including the simplicity, the electronic elements ("All I Need" is a great example) and the computerized/simplistic drum beats. The last element also works wonders for the flow of the album, defining a very steady beat for most of the songs, making this Radiohead's easiest album to bob your head to, follow along with or relax to. The album does have its crescendos and intense moments. The endings to “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” and “All I Need” are honestly breathtaking, with the former creating a wall of sound that seemingly swallows you whole and the latter just completely enveloping you in a beautiful blend of guitar, piano and thick bass. But gone are the wild tempo changes of "Sit Down. Stand Up." or "Paranoid Android," each song remains constant. Also absent is the multitracking and almost symphonic arrangements, the key factor that separates this album from their past work. Although "Nude" has the occasional violin swell, the song, much like many others on the CD, can be described simply as intimate. At one point, it's just vocals, bass and a simple drumbeat. "Videotape" starts with only Yorke's voice and piano. “Faust Arp” doesn’t even have any drums. The guitar work is not distorted, flashy or wild; instead it's introspective, soft and simple, often relying on small arpeggios or silent picking lines. Also absent from the album are the intricate and soaring harmonies of "Hail To The Thief," as Yorke takes a much more personal approach to the vocals.

At this point, you may be saying, "well, this album is sounding pretty boring boring." But it's not. The simplicity only works in creating what I think is Radiohead's most intimate album to date. And I don't mean to make it seem as if the band abandoned their past work for something totally new, the influence of past work is definitely there. The overall mood of the album is definitely dark, a la Hail To The Thief, enhanced by elements like the despondent lyrics of "Videotape," the dissonant swells at the end of 'Weird Fish/Arpeggi" and the eerie chord changes and harmonies on "Jigsaw Falling Into The Place." “All I Need” incorporates both the electronic elements of Kid A and the piano driven work on Hail To The Thief. “Bodysnatchers” is reminiscent of wild tempo and guitar work of “Electioneering” on OK Computer. Yet the only Radiohead song I'd be confident saying would fit on this album would be Kid A's "Optimisitc," as much of the album reflects the strange, eerie guitar and vocal interplay exhibited on the aforementioned song. But to compare In Rainbows to any single Radiohead album would just be unfair.

Most importantly, Radiohead have accomplished once again what they've been doing for 7 albums now: reinventing themselves. Yet it seems that because In Rainbows has more of a focus on simplicity, the album gets criticized. I truly believe that Radiohead wanted to make a simplistic and minimalist album. And honestly, In Rainbows is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have heard in a while and certainly one of Radiohead’s best works to date. Every track is astonishing in it’s own way and the album simultaneously establishes a unique sound and feel for itself while varying tremendously from track to track within that identity. Just as it’s useless to attempt to compare Kid A to OK Computer or Amnesiac to The Bends, In Rainbows stands alone as yet another persona that Radiohead has both created and perfected for themselves and comparing it to their past albums is unfair and fruitless. The influence of their past work is there, but In Rainbows exists in it’s own picture frame as a work of art that will be appreciated for years to come.

Recent reviews by this author
Kurt Vile Smoke Ring For My HaloDouble Dagger More
Tamaryn The WavesArcade Fire The Suburbs
Jens Lekman Night Falls Over KortedalaSed Non Satiata Le Ciel De Notre Enfance

user ratings (5637)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Electric City EMERITUS (3)
    What happened to Radiohead?...

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

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

    verdant CONTRIBUTOR (5)
    Facts For Whatever: A 15 Step Guide to In Rainbows...

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

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

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

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

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

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

    AtavanHalen (4)
    An unpredictable record from the biggest unsigned band in the world....

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

  • AngryLittleAlchemist (5)
    "You're All I Need..."...

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

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

    tribestros (4.5)
    Dark. Disturbing. Lush, yet subdued. In Rainbows is everything fans hoped for....

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

    CaliggyJack (5)
    IMpossbutnotwithexceptionNEW ER4...

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

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

  • cagedbutterfly (3.5)
    Radiohead rises from the ashes of their past 3 albums and compose a beauty of a record....

    Sejine (4)

    barcafan21 (4.5)
    An album that will most likely go down in history as Radiohead’s album that revolutioniz...

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

Comments:Add a Comment 
October 14th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

Hey I'm really sorry to add yet another review for this album, and a positive one at that, but I really wanted to get some of my feelings for this album out and I was writing a sound off but realized it was probably too long. And I know this isn't really the best it could be but keep in mind I wrote it as a sound off so I left out some extraneous information. I'm going to try to add onto it tomorrow to give it a little more info and depth, etc. But yeah, I just felt like I needed to express a couple of my views on the album.


October 14th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Let's make this the last review of the record. Please.

Not bad, anyway.

October 14th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

I'd like a negative one, just because I enjoy reading negative reviews for albums I like.

Apocalyptic Raids
October 14th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

nice review man

October 14th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

6 reviews in 4 days. good review anyway. good album too

October 14th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

Great review. Lovin' the album also.

October 14th 2007


another day, another in rainbows review.

October 14th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

It is good though. I voted.

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

Electric City
October 14th 2007


Album Rating: 3.8 | Sound Off

While I can understand the complaints about there being too many In Rainbows reviews, but it's not like Nevermind or Tool reviews that are chocked with a bunch of noobs who are proverbially sexually pleasuring those bands. They're all very well written with good points.

October 14th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off


October 14th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

I like this review the most

good job

October 14th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Radiohead fans are far superior to Tool fans.

October 15th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the feedback dudes.

October 31st 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Good review man

Great album too, pumped about this!!!

December 16th 2007


Radiohead fans are far superior to Tool fans.

and what if your a fan of both?

good review... seems to really have divided fans, I am liking this band the more they move away from all the bends and ok computer stuff (burnt out from ok computer) which would explain why I am digging this album.

December 16th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

i still think this album is being extremely overrated.

December 16th 2007


I don't listen to this as much as I used to. But when I do listen to it, it still floors me. It's beautiful.

February 7th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

Wow it goes a high review. Radiohead Rocks man.. There just really trippy I could listen to there music for hours and forget im listeing to it. it puts you in this daze?....I'm so there when they tour!This Message Edited On 02.07.08

February 7th 2008


Did anyone understand that?

February 7th 2008


No. maybe he's trippin....This Message Edited On 02.07.08

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


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 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy