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Radiohead - In Rainbows  CD (album) cover

IN RAINBOWS

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

3.79 | 412 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

1800iareyay
Prog Reviewer
4 stars In Rainbows is the latest album from Radiohead, the most experimental Britpop group ever formed. In the months prior to its release, Radiohead got an avalanche of publicity when they threw up a collective middle finger in the face of the record industry. The band elected to not only distribute the album themselves, but to let their audience set their own price. Articles abounded at the album's impact on the of music distribution, to the point that no matter what was on the album, it would be the defining album of 2007. Luckily for everyone, Radiohead delivered their best album since Kid A, and perhaps their greatest album ever.

Their last few outings were heavily on the electronic experimentation, to the point that one could almost call them progressive electronic. Amnesiac had so much meddling that the music suffered as a result. Hail to the Thief brought a little more of the conventional guitars and drum sound to the mix, but only enough to make it sound out of place. Here, the band has achieved the perfect balance of convention and innovation, making it an even better blend than O.K. Computer. There is something on this album for everyone. 15 Step is a trippy opener that leads us to believe that Radiohead is still on the outer edge of pop music. It's full of great percussive effects and mix with Thom's ethereal vocals. Bodysnatchers is a flat-out rocker with a driving riff. It almost sounds like the band is channeling the Rolling Stones with this number. Nude brings the tempo down and sounds downright majestic with weaving vocal lines. The rest of the songs feature all sorts of interesting composition. Instruments will drop out and return. Thom pushes that Jeff Buckley-like voice to the limits, traversing all sorts of territory with his pipes.

Some may complain that the album is too short. That's only because time flies listening to this record. It's so unassuming and sparse that it belies the complexity of the arrangements. This is a textbook example of how letting the notes breathe and putting emotion into songs can be every bit as challenging as a barrage of arpeggios. Some music is driven and upbeat, others are so light that they float through your head. This album has already received attention for revolutionizing distribution. However, ignore all that and you're left with one of the most well-crafted albums not only of the year, but of the new millennium. Picking highlights is impossible. I am so swept away by the music that I cannot even glance at my iPod to see what song I'm on at times. It's not quite perfect, but this is a triumph of minimalism.

Grade: B+

1800iareyay | 4/5 |

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