In Rainbows. Boy, oh, boy. It’s been the subject of blogmania for over a month now, and is still worthy of a write-up.
Radiohead’s seventh studio album got its famous release on October 10, 2007. Good fans (young, old, cheap, affluent, new, experienced, hobbits, Kim Jong Il, Chelsea Clinton) everywhere downloaded the album as the buildup for it exploded. Is the hype deserved? Very much so.
For brevity: In Rainbows is a very enjoyable album filled with musicality of a great level. Thom Yorke’s voice is amazing. Johnny Greenwood and the entire gang rock to glorious extent. ’15 Step’ is very catchy. ‘All I Need’ is very immediate. ‘Videotape’ is a superb closer. All the tracks are highlights, by the way, not just those three.
In Rainbows will surely be in the top 10, if not the top 5, of many, many year-end best-of lists. 2007: The year digital went household.
In Rainbows is a perfect blend of all that makes Radiohead well Radiohead. Critics adore OK Computer because it was essentially the perfect rock record, filled with dueling guitars and consistent themes of alienation in the modern world, OK Computer pushed the genre forward. What Radiohead and Thom Yorke specifically has tried to do since then is to leave rock behind. Mr.Yorke saw the future in electronica and drum machines not in one mic, two guitars, one bassist and one drummer.
Radiohead’s post OK Computer albums strictly adhere to this not a rock band complex. Kid A and Amnesiac feature distorted barely human vocals and forgo conventional strong structure for long, atmospheric compositions. In Rainbows is the product of all of this musical searching. Radiohead has finally realized that at heart it is a rock band but that their identity still remains flexible.
In Rainbows is a mix of emotive experimental ballads and just straight out rockers. 15 Step, Bodysnatchers, and Jigsaw Falling Into Place bring energy and come straight out of Radiohead’s glorious rockin’ past. Nude, Videotape, Faust Arp and House of Cards feature Yorke’s trademark abstract yet undeniably feeling lyrics and subtle,moving melodies. The 2nd best song on the album is the unclassifiably weird yet undeniably mind blowing Wierd Fishes/Apreggi. I guarantee you that as soon as you listen to this song you too will feel what it’s like “get eaten by the world.” That being said, I must take this opportunity to embrace my inner romantic sap and name Videotape the best song on In Rainbows and one of the best of 2007. You either feel it or you don’t. If you do feel it, you leave the song a changed human. If you do not, well you’re dead inside.