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Radiohead - In Rainbows  CD (album) cover

IN RAINBOWS

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

3.77 | 402 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Hats off to Radiohead for sidestepping around an increasingly venal marketplace with their new internet-only album, available for download at whatever cost suits your pocketbook (even free, although the average voluntary payment so far is a perfectly reasonable ten dollars). You'll have to create your own CD cover art of course, and I've already stumbled on-line across some truly lunatic candidates: Thom Yorke's face superimposed on a cartoon leprechaun, and so forth.

Musically it's another forward thinking collection of songs from a band historically touchy about any Prog Rock comparisons, but guess what, guys? You're creating some genuinely progressive music here, whether or not you want to acknowledge it. The group still has one foot afloat in the antiseptic outer limits of Post Rock electronica (as heard in Thom Yorke's 2006 solo album "The Eraser"), but this is an altogether warmer, more human effort, as suggested by the new album's iridescent title. It opens with the not unexpected techno beat and scratchy digital rhythm of "15 Step", but ends on the sound of a stark acoustic piano and treated percussion in "Videotape", after covering a full spectrum of moods ranging from the intimate 12-string guitar and (electronic?) orchestration of "Faust Arp" to the distorted bass and driving krautrock energy of "Bodysnatchers".

For easy reference think of it as the logical extension of their previous "Hail to the Thief", only better organized and easier on the ears. At first exposure there aren't any immediate musical hooks to grab your attention, perhaps an indication that the album will only prove more rewarding in the long run, and the slim 43-minute running time (a throwback to those pre-digital days of 33-1/3 rpm vinyl) is an obvious concession to quality over quantity.

It may not break any new ground, but the album consolidates the band's established territory with no lack of self-assurance. If you aren't already a fan it won't easily convert you, but anyone under the spell of their post-"OK Computer" aural experiments might eventually find it their richest and most accomplished effort to date.

And let's hope heads roll at the record companies that didn't sign them to a contract in time.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |

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