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In Rainbows

Radiohead

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iTunes Review

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.

Customer Reviews

This Ties with Kid A, OK Computer

This band has done a phenomenal thing here. They have released an album that dropped with a bucketful of hype and 'controversy' (pay what you want for the digital copy) that actually lived up to (and exceeded) all expectations. In Rainbows is on par with OK Computer and Kid A, to put it shortly. Those two albums were (and still are) revolutionary. On one side, you have a rock album that sounded like nothing else before it. It was unbelievable. On the other side, you have an album that almost seemed to separate the fan-base. It opened the doors to new genres being explored within the realms of one rock band. In Rainbows isn't going to be something you've never heard before, in terms of the types of music on here. There are loads of influences and sounds (from The Beatles to subdued reggae) but the perfected way these songs are crafted will grab you. There really isn't a single song on this whole album not worth listening to. Even the first two songs are ear-catching dancers. From 15 Step's dance-groove beats to Bodysnatchers' overdrive rock riffs, you'll find something you enjoy. Nude is a Radiohead song that has been finding itself in the background of things for about 10 years or so. But the way it is fleshed out is a near perfect example of how to take a song that you once knew nothing about how to finish it and make it into a wonderful masterpiece. The two big standout songs on this album are Reckoner and Jigsaw Falling Into Place, but for wildly different reasons. Jigsaw is a fast-paced song about nightlife that many will find themselves relating to. It's a much more rock-driven song than most of the songs before it and it really puts a cap on things before the tear-jerker Videotape. Reckoner is just an incredible song. The percussion, the percussion. The drums in the beginning will immediately draw you in and from there on out it's a wonderful journey. Obviously this song had a lot of attention paid to it. The rest of the album is just as incredible though. I will highly recommend that you download the entire thing. It is, after all, the band's wishes and it's always best, with an album such as this, to experience the album in full. So sit back, relax, and get ready to be amazed. Radiohead have done it again.

Radiohead Falling Into Place

This is Radiohead at their finest. After 15+ years of developing as a band, they seem to have finally found themselves. From the off-beat opening groove of "15 Step" to the beautifully haunting "Videotape", 'In Rainbows' pulls you in and keeps you listening intently. The band's goregous guitar work is much more apparent on this album than the previous few, subtly weaving in and out of 'Kid A'-type drum loops and synthy bits. As for the songs themselves, "Nude" is an old fan favorite that is finally given the treatment it deserves. "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi", "All I Need", "Reckoner", and "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" are chilled rockers destined to be new favorites of most fans and new listeners. The Beatles-esque "Faust Arp" stands out as a reminder that under all the beats and blips, the solidness of the songwriting is what holds it all together. You can clearly hear the comfort Radiohead seems to be feeling with their music and each other on this album, something that was maybe a little lost on their last album, 'Hail to the Thief'. This is one of history's greatest bands at thier very best, don't miss out on this album. The only real shame here is that iTunes does not offer the 8-track bonus disc available in the discbox package. Also check out the "In Rainbows" podcast for a few live tracks, including a BEAUTIFUL version of Bjork's "Unravel".

One word... Amazing!

Whether you are a seasoned Radiohead listener, or a first timer, this album will bring you in and take you on an emotional ride through love, fear, dejection, and hope. From the opening beat of "15 Step", through the syncopation of "Weird Fishes / Arpeggi", drummer Phil Selway is a standout, throwing down textured beats that feed together perfectly with Colin Greenwoods bass lines to create the rhythmic sway that lulls your ear in, like soft waves against the side of a boat moving it up and down, side to side, in tempo. The guitar and effects work of Ed O'Brian and Jonny Greenwood are also at top form with the rocking "Bodysnatchers", using harmonizing distorted arpeggios, and in "House of Cards", its clear finger picking matched against sustained notes and loads of reverb. And Thom York is as strong as ever with vocals that are more upfront then the last few albums, well delivered lines, and beautiful falsetto. In short, the best album to come along in a long time, from one of the least conventional and most creative bands of ALL time, is now available on iTunes. Buy it now and you will find yourself keeping that repeat button continuously pressed. I read one review that said if "Kid A" is a scary walk in the dark woods, then "In Rainbows" is passing through the imaginary cities in the clouds above us. Take my advice, put this album on your iPod and book a window seat on your next flight. You won’t be disappointed.

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....
Full Bio

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