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In Rainbows - Radiohead

2007-10-17 14:09
He finally realizes that his more-than-decade-long coping mechanism of trying to hide his ego beneath layers of alternative rock obfuscation was bull shit. So he inventories the low-self-esteemed Brit-pop that drove The Bends, the postmodern indie-rock compulsion of Okay Computer and the avant-garde self-sabotage that fooled all the critics on Kid A and…smiles.

Yes, smiles. Yorke knows that jazzy broken beat architectures (“15 Steps”), bass-blistered garage rock riffers (“Bodysnatchers”), cute Art Garfunkel-styled acoustic string ballad things (“Faust Arp”), spaced in progressive rock jams (“Reckoner”), and piano-and-glitch-powered cinematic headphone hangovers (“Videotape”) are all colour by numbers Radiohead clichés. But you know what? He’s cool with that.
So much so that he lets his dystopian lyrical obsessions about consumerism, eco-terrorism and blah, blah, blah go. For the first time Yorke sounds like he’s actually having fun: witness his sexy little R&B vocal vamp on “15 Steps”, the post-coital Pop romance of openly erotic confession session “Nude”, or the ejaculatory joy of shoe-gazer’s delight “All I Need”.

Right. So In Rainbows is not the future rock manifesto that critics and fans might want – make that need - it to be. And guess what? This digital-download only album isn’t going to signal the death of the corporate music monopolies either. It’s simply the sound of an infamously uptight lead singer unwinding with his mates by sharing some rehearsal jams with their fans. Why else take the unprecedented step of allowing us punters to “pay-what-we-want” for the album?

- Miles Keylock

“I don't want to be your friend. I just want to be your lover” serenades lead singer Thom Yorke on ambient-acoustic shuffle “House Of Cards”. Relax. Radiohead hasn’t suddenly become Texas. Instead, having already exorcised some of his fabled paranoia with his solo eco-electronica squib The Eraser, on In Rainbows Yorke heads off in search of some serenity from all the shit that flatulent 21st century celebrity culture can sometimes throw at a rock star.

What to read next: Kalahari

WTF 2007-10-18 11:07 AM
What the fcuk? You have got it wrong. Radiohead have always criticised record companies for their shoddy business practices, you know; small profit shares, unfair contracts and the 'I own you' mentality towards the artist. They are one of the few bands lucky (or rich?) enough to handle their own marketing and distribution so this is deftinately more than a effort to punt a jam session you twit. These guys are intelligent and opinionated and are at least in my opinion taking a swing at changing the order of things. Try and look through you glasses Miles, not at them.
Rlx 2007-10-18 12:39 PM
Relax What happened to just enjoying music? It seems that the cult of Radiohead has become about more than the music. Rather, its wrapped up in their intentions, what they mean or don't mean, breaking ties with the conventions of rock music, setting standards, etc etc etc. Radiohead, whether by their intention or that of their fans and critics, seem to have become a political voice and because of this, someone is waiting for them to say something profound so that they can laud them or vilify them. Personally, I've always been a fan of Radiohead's music, and have taken no heed of the buzz that accessorizes it. I find In Rainbows refreshing, lighter. It doesn't take itself as seriously as previous albums (such as Kid A). It may not be The Bends or Ok Computer, but as a fan, I just enjoy the music.
Gary 2007-10-18 01:37 PM
Hmm I agree the album shows Yorke and the band in a more relaxed musical mode but to call it a jam session implies that only when they're being hard core political can we take them seriously. This fails to grasp the subversive nature of making an album excatly like this. Especially considering their retail attitude here - it's clear - as we should know by now - that Radiohead wanted to once again break their own mould (or the moulds the critics like to make for them). In their approach to selling this album as well as the content - it's revolutionary in both senses - an album that breaks new ground in the way it's sold and what in what people expect the music to actually sound like. Calling it a jam that they're tossing to their fans like bone is both missing the point of what Radiohead are all about becuase it implies a disrespect for their fans - the last thing that could ever be accused of doing. It's much like the critics evaluation of Wilco's Sky Blue Sky as a laid back jaunt when act
angstie ernie 2008-06-25 03:47 PM
best work since kid a house of cards sounds like peter green smoking a spliff with the stone roses whilst being filmed by a german chanteuse-whilst 15 step captures the elecrtical hiss hanging over the modern police state that is england-its the closest that radiohead have come to blending pink floyd and the sex pistols-the polar opposites have been united totally now-their next album will be interesting.....

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