Sound — 10
In Rainbows is available for download at any sum, and after listening to it, I decided I should have paid a lot more, and pre-ordered their double disc set. The album is polished, comfortable and multi-layered, so much so that it 's almost like a refined musical symphony. Radiohead is at its' very best here. The songs are sweetly delicious and free of bombastic radio-friendly climaxes. '15 Step' is a smooth flowing song with an excitingly delicious pulsating riff that breaks out about 40 seconds in. The audio-orgasm eruption is a recurring theme in this album, dissolving and reappearing in most of the tracks. The songs are so finely smoothed together, it's almost perfect. 15 Step is a good stepping point to the In Rainbows sound, where Radiohead sound like they're having the best time of their life on the songs. It's terribly addictive to drift away into the subconscious current that it inevitably brings about.Bodysnatchers' is a slight departure from the first track, with grizzling bass tones and a more generic overall feel to it. There's significantly less melodic smoothing-ins, with a more direct focus on a standard rock tone blended with a Radiohead feel. 'Nude' is a tell-all song, beautifully created, a magnificent work of art. The syrupy strings and lovely melody is about as close as Radiohead comes to a climax song here. Definitely a brilliant song, the arrangement of tracks allows Nude to bring us back into the mood of the album. The other songs stick closely to the polished sound, and almost all of them benefit from re-listenings. House of Cards, however, perhaps lacks slightly the drive of the other tracks.
Lyrics — 8
At first listening, the lyrics perhaps lack as binding a theme as the music. The emphasis is clearly on the multi-layered harmonies and the powerful drive that ensues. Thom Yorke lays on his vocal prowess seemingly to blend in with the flow and mood of each song. The lyrics do, however, stand up to further scrutiny. With such lines as,"how come I end up the way I started?" and "When I'm at the pearly gates/This will be on my videotape, my videotape/Mephistopheles is just beneath/And he's reaching up to grab me", the lyrics reveal a peculiarly aching soul that fits perfectly once again with the mood of In Rainbows.
Overall Impression — 9
Definitely one of their best efforts to date. The entire album is modelled around the comfortable sound, resulting in a splendid gem that puts shame to their previous works. Some of the standout songs include 'Nude' and 'Videotape', but it's really hard to pick the best since it's basically an entire album of magic. Amazing. Simply amazing.