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In Rainbows

Radiohead

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iTunes Editors' Notes

Much like U2, Radiohead do regular battle with their group identity, harvesting new ideas and pathways to the future while simultaneously acknowledging their past legacy. With 2007’s In Rainbows, Radiohead continue to seek new patterns and blends without succumbing to pure art for art’s sake. Kid A and Amnesiac took them to the ambient edge and they’ve been clawing themselves slowly back to the pop playground ever since. Thom Yorke is a naturally gifted vocalist whose acapella can lift any melody to stratospheric heights and when his group turns down the volume and settles into a subdued groove (“Nude, “ “Weird Fishes/ Arpeggie”), the result is a surreal new age vibe where what could be sterile, slick tones are infused with touches of extreme emotionalism. There is always a sense of danger lurking in the guitars and keyboards; storm clouds frequently gather by mid-song. The angry clank of “15 Step,” the marching synthesizer doom behind “All I Need,” the obscuring, mysterious reverb of “House of Cards” create soundscapes that aren’t afraid to dream beyond the usual instrumental limits.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Oxford, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Radiohead were one of the few alternative bands of the early '90s to draw heavily from the grandiose arena rock that characterized U2's early albums. But the band internalized that epic sweep, turning it inside out to tell tortured, twisted tales of angst and alienation. Vocalist Thom Yorke's pained lyrics were brought to life by the group's three-guitar attack, which relied on texture — borrowing as much from My Bloody Valentine and Pink Floyd as R.E.M. and Pixies — instead of virtuosity....
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