Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Radiohead- In Ranbows- Thoughts from an amateur

Here's my song by song thoughts on the new Radiohead album In Rainbows:

15 Step- Love the guitar riff and the effect on the vocal is perfect. Great opening song; it gets you excited for the rest of the album.

Bodysnatchers- Hard to believe, but it's really the only "rocker" of the album (though it doesn't feel out of place). Solid song, some tasty guitar licks.

Nude- Weird name. It seems like a song that's this good would have a better name. Thom's voice is really good on this one...The texture of the strings really brings the song from good to great.

Weird Fish/Arpeggio- Good funky song, excellent drum/bass line to start it out. Thom's vocal carries this song quite well. I think that the song lands right where it should in the track order.

All I Need- Beautiful- might end up being my favorite. Slow, vulnerable, haunting...beautiful. The crescendo at the end is really moving.

Faust Arp- Sweet groove on this one...the acoustic guitar was surprising to me but it worked well. Strings arrangements are fantastic again. They can pretty much do whatever they want and it works.

Reckoner- Probably the best song on the album. Brilliant intro...I love the guitars on this album. I guess that's Jonny G...Thom's voice comes in at the perfect time and then the percussion drops out a bit as the piano comes in. Definitely a song that needs both headphones. This could be a single I think...a single that helps people learn to love good music and stop listening to things that decrease their capacity for beauty.

House of Cards- I don't wanna be your friend/I just wanna be your lover/No matter how it ends/No matter how it starts. I can't think of any Radiohead song that opens with lyrics that I actually get. Again, the strings/guitars are brilliant.

Jigsaw Falling Into Place- Classic Radiohead chords/structure. This sounds more like Radiohead than anything else I have heard so far...I like the humming riff that underlays the entire song. Another great song.

Videotape- Lovely piano intro....and I like the bass. Haunting vocal, love the repeating "...a videotape..." This is a perfect closing song, though I would have liked it if they built it a little more before ending it with the piano.

Overall thoughts: This album is fantastic. The use of strings, the order of the songs, the beautiful melodies, the reverb-y vocals that work so many things that I can't adequately articulate. This release has leap frogged Iron & Wine's The Shepherd's Dog for my album of the year (so far).

It seems to be more accessible than anything they've done since The Bends, maybe ever. It reminds of what Wilco did with Sky Blue Sky this year- a critically acclaimed band that is known for complex, off-the-wall songs putting out an album full of really great sounding, but fairly simple, songs. Some people aren't going to like In Rainbows and wish that it was more inventive or progressive and say that the band's gone soft. Meanwhile, most people will be thoroughly enjoying an album full of great songs that should be treasured. I will be relaxing with the latter group.

Also read Pitchfork's feature page on In Rainbows.

"Buy" the album here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

im glad its so good.
im getting my copy right now.
the coolest part is that its free, or you can pay the money if you want. im really liking this idea.


10:54 AM  

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