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Radiohead - In Rainbows CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.82 | 523 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars After leaving a series of coded messages on their website, acclaimed English rock band Radiohead announced that they will be releasing their latest album in ten days time and that it was available on their website's store. The average music makers might see a few holes in this. Self-distribution is nothing new. For example, New York post-metal band, The Pax Cecilia, have recently sent a copy of their latest CD to any fan that asked for it through e-mail. However, this was free. The catch with Radiohead's seventh release, entitled In Rainbows, was that the fans had two options. One choice was a lavish box set including vinyl records, a bonus disc, and full artwork, for an extravagant 81 dollars. The other choice was a download only option. However, the really shocking thing that only they have done thus far was to allow the fans to name their own price for the album.

On a label, this would be entirely unheard of. However, on the side of the fans, being able to name your own price for an album was an empowering gift, yet quite the predicament. The question that plagued each consumer was, "How much is the true price of music?" If you were to ask almost anyone in the school, they'd probably say that CDs are overpriced. However, few can say with certainty how much it truly is worth. For many people, this amount came to 0 dollars and 0 cents. Radiohead may not be complete unknowns seeking to create their path in the music industry, but in all fairness, this was a valiant experiment in finding out how people would handle the responsibility of choosing the price for music. With such a controversial method of distribution, one must wonder if the album could possibly be as memorable as the manner in which the public got their hands on it. In my opinion, absolutely.

I recall waking up early on October 10th to find that glorious e-mail containing my download link for In Rainbows. Although I was tired, I was extremely excited that this album that I had been awaiting with impatience for several years was soon to be hitting my eardrums. The album opens with an electronic drum beat, sucking in the listener with a pulsating rhythm in 5/4. "15 Step" is sure to appeal to fans of Radiohead's more electronic based works and surprisingly is completely danceable. It certainly carries the distinct sound they have created over the course of their almost 15 years recording. The sound makes a complete 180 in to "Bodysnatchers," a rocker with an alternative flair similar to something off The Bends, but with a better melody. "Nude" is soft and brooding, a great song to get lost in. At this point, one might be surprised at how much the guitar has regained prevalence in comparison with more electronic albums of the bands more recent past. A somewhat catchy drum intro takes the listener in to "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" which is hauntingly beautiful and melodic. The melody continues with "All I Need" a downbeat tale of longing and desire with great atmospheric work. "Faust Arp" is an enticing acoustic number. It is stunning in its simplicity, yet still powerful and featuring excellent vocals. My personal favorite is the next track, "Reckoner." This song features soaring vocals over an impressive guitar line. The atmospheric work is unconventional and absolutely pays off with its unique passion. The following track, "House of Cards" is a pleasant song that segues nicely in to "Jigsaw Falling into Place," which is slated to be the album's first single. This song features a very catchy chorus and is delightfully upbeat and accessible, two words not commonly associated with Radiohead. The exciting bounciness of that song is contrasted by the closer, "Videotape." It is a somber tune of remembrance, driven by a powerful piano progression. The vocals are intense and fitting with the bleak tone of the song. It is anticlimactic yet comforting

Overall, this album has already set itself in a class of its own due to its method of release and distribution, yet the songs are equally memorable. Unlike prior albums, the lyrics are more personal and relatable. Many are centered on subjects such as relationships, pressure, and the power of memory. I recommend that people interested in something experimental yet melodic give this album a try. After all, what do you have to lose?

moreitsythanyou | 5/5 |


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