Radiohead – In Rainbows

RadioheadAnd lo it arrives on my PC, I remembered that I wanted to buy the new Radiohead album in the form of the “discbox”, a limited edition 2xCD/2xLP boxset that appears highly desirable. But buying that also includes the whole album in download form. I’ve paid just over $90 for all of this. Why not buy it for nothing like a lot of people already have? Well I believe in supporting the artists whose music I love. Having seen some beloved bands of mine split up citing financial reasons (Grandaddy, Aereogramme), I believe that I should give money to the people that make the music that I cherish. Yes I know 90 bucks is a lot for an album, but I’m a sucker for limited edition anything that comes out. Hell I don’t even have a record player (something I will remedy), so it seems strange but I’m happy with my choice.

In Rainbows took everyone by surprise; for the last two or three years details on the new Radiohead album have been scarce. Titles have been bandied about and singer Thom Yorke even made a highly aclaimed, lo-fi elecrtonica album. Suddenly, the new album, called In Rainbows, is released as an internet download for a variable price. Initial reviews championed the album for it’s combination of the band’s cutting edge sound and strong anthemic song writing. The first track “15 Step” will probably throw most people off the scent: it’s a pulsating electronic number that’s more related to Thom’s solo album that any other Radiohead song.

The core of the album are three tracks in the middle of the album. “Nude” has been a song the band have played live since the 1997/98 tour for Ok Computer. Originally it sounded like a Bends-era song, but the new version is softer and gentler, never reaching the high-points of the original (of which many bootlegs can be found online). “Reckoner” is a distant song, the drums echoey and the music almost indirect until the beautiful strings at the end of the song crystallise the song.”Videotape” is a melancholy track, that echoes “Motion Picture Soundtrack”, the final track from Kid A. “Weird Fish/Apreggi” just has it: a melody that is instantly memorable and is the type of song that I’ll play constantly. Frankly no Radiohead album will ever hit the incredible highs of Ok Computer and Kid A. These were two seminal albums that will be inspiring people for years to come. However, In Rainbows is a well made and whilst it isn’t really a cohesive album, it does have some of Radiohead’s best recent songs on it.

Radiohead – Videotape:

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