Saturday, October 13, 2007

Walking 'In Rainbows'

Okay, I wanted to check in with a somewhat skewed review of the new Radiohead record, In Rainbows. Amazingly the first new release from this band since the inception of my blog so I've never referenced them prior. I will only take a moment to comment on the brilliance of their release plan, something afforded them due to past success. Not sure how an upandcoming act could follow such a lead, nor how they are 'sticking it to the industry' as some say. A rich band can pull this off. I hope they didn't do this to distract from the record, because it stands on its own with out hoopla.

On to the record. Radiohead controlled the leak, something nobody else can seem to do. They surprised us all with such a quick release date and the custom pricing. I paid zero pounds, which is like 2.5 dollars nowadays anyway. I hope to purchase the vinyl boxset so don't sue RH. This record came to us the very same week I received such news. Such news that could not really be summed up with my explanation other then a plus sign. A girl in fact.

Looking back on this record now, three months after this initial post, I come to the conclusion that In Rainbows is still a magnificent record, an accomplishment in record creation and distribution, an example of the complete LP. The record has an almost dulling feel to it, drifting myself in clouds. I will now put the record on via Itunes and live blog each track. Enjoy!

'In Rainbows' - Radiohead

Track 1 - 15 Step

This one immediately grabbed me, I am a sucker for odd time signatures and the 5/4 keeps my toe tapping every time. The repeated verse somewhat annoys me and other times I find really brilliant. When the guitar kicks in and possibly a real drummer this song truly takes shape. Probably stronger set of lyrics on the record. However, that being said, I have no idea what it's about. I reckon the string comes undone, perhaps leaving something behind? I love when Thom gives up explaining and just says etc, etc, and then the sick little bass line takes prominence, and then the sheer drop, probably the most eventful 15 seconds on the disc. Children chorus a tad U2ish. And finally we end where we started, that clever Thom...

Track 2 - Bodysnatchers

Classic crunchy Radiohead guitar opening, nice drums, a pleasant little rock song. I have no idea what this song is about! Wait I don't think that's the lyric... So, why does Thom want out of his body? Is that like, symbolism? Hmm, more Thom humming, he really likes to do that on this record. I like how he takes a single word like 'limitation' and makes it an entire sentence. Probably the closest they've ventured to bends territory in a decade. Would fit perfect behind My Iron Lung on a mix.

Track 3 - Nude

A track that has been around for ages, fits perfectly after the iron lungish Bodysnatchers. More Thom moaning and humming, weren't the strings enough? Sick 6/8 bassline keeps your head nodding the running four minutes length. Johnny's mysterious sounds coming in, yes this is certainly Radiohead. I like this song, but it always feels like that track where you sit down at the show and get a breather after dancing your head off for the previous twenty minutes. That or go take a piss and get another beer. Don't get any big ideas, the bathrooms are packed... Its tracks like this that can make you kind of embarassed to be a Radiohead fan, I mean, Thom is like trying out for american idol now with this shit. He sounds like someone is squeezing his ball sack. Hm... fadeout yet? Uh no, disney ending.

Track 4 - Weird Fishes / Arpeggi

First off before we start, what's with the name? Okay, nice enough drum machine/human beat with arpeggio guitar figure. Queue Thom ranting and one word sentencing... There is a certain feel to this record that I think truly takes shape at this track and continues for the remainder. This record almost plays like a tour through time with Radiohead doesn't it? Is it the point where now Radiohead can only really make greatest hits records only with new songs? As usual the masters of suspense and release, the three minute mark is haunting and beautiful, a superb moment in the track. I guess that's the slash mark. Someone should tie a guitar to Johnny at all times and force him to only play it. Oh, we're at the bottom now? It's only track four... Perhaps the rest of the disc is the climb back up?

Track 5 - All I Need

Kind of a chicken soup drum beat, somehow it pulls me in. Immediate hook with the bassline and we're off. Hope that drum machine gets a cut of the internet download loot. Get itself some nice porn... Aww, I'm all Thom needs... Why is he in all my pictures? I'm just a blogger, tryin' to get through this song. This all seems kinda, ordinary for Radiohead, not that I'm complaining. Once again there's that smoothness to these tracks that make up for that. The breakdown of this song is perfect by the way. The use of the piano to crescendo a song is Radiohead's gift to rock music I believe, just ask Coldplay.

Track 6 - Faust Arp

This song immediately reminds me of Elliott Smith. The guitar pick, the strings, I truly believe they wrote this about him. If I could follow the lyrics I might figure it out. A perfect little folk song bridges this record to a climactic ending. The cello, a great instrument.

Track 7 - Reckoner

Remember this song from the old live shows as being especially punk and fast. It was jarring to hear this at first, but after several listens it is obvious far superior to the previous version. This is the song you always wanted Radiohead to make. Some of these tracks greatly exhibit an almost jam mentality, as the band was simply enjoying standing in a room and playing together. Not that I would know, thats just what it sounds like, to me. But you know, I'm influenced and stuff. And then the track evaporates into b-side territory. Someone, quick, plug the drum machine back in! Seamlessly back into the groove of the reckoner. Elegant coda as the band sounds classical and soulful at the same time.

Track 8 - House of Cards

Sorry, I think I just dozed off to my wife's Jack Johnson record. Forget about your house of cards, forget about this boring song... Man, does it ever change? This is such a classic throw away track, someone wake up the drummer. And it dares to be the longest track on here? I would seriously like to ask them why they included this track on the record as it may be the weakest track in the post pablo honey catalog. Hell, it could be worse then that record, I haven't listened to it in a while.

Track 9 - Jigsaw Falling into Place

Well after that boring affair likes a gem, the best track on the record. Thankfully, we are greeted with the classic sound of the gigantic Radiohead. Oi, more moaning... Nice enough verse, I haven't really paid much attention to the lyrics on this record. It's mostly been the bass and drum machine that's kept me awake to be perfectly honest. Wait, my heart be still, is that Johnny's guitar? This song just chugs along nicely, nothing else to say really. Its a lot like The Constantine's entire catalog. Now that's something.

Track 10 - Videotape

Maybe my favorite Radiohead closing track. Even better then Motion Picture, this track is a mess, and yet it all works perfectly. This song is completely utterly sad. And yet, it will always remind me of my daughter. We'll have it all down on videotape. I can sum up this record in one word: 'hmmmmmmmm....' This crooked drumbeat slash train tracks I don't even know what is absolutly amazing and haunting and tragic. Thom always knows how to close a record.

Well, that probably would of gone a lot differently a few months ago. I certainly overplayed the record in the car especially, and now today listening to it in full was a pleasant enough experience. The record has that certain shine to it that is very genuine and unique. There is a hopefulness to it, certainly one for the good days. Thank you and good night Radiohead!


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