Sound — 8
With all the buzz in the last few months over Radiohead's methods of distribution, I worried a little about how the album would sound. Every time I listened to it, it was hard to take in because of it's distinct differences from Radiohead's older work and also because of all the hype, no one was really talking about the music. It was only after the band's New Year's Eve "Scotch Mist" special that I really listened closely to the album. The movie was fantastic and I decided to listen to the album again. At first, songs like "Nude" and "All I Need" seemed a little long and boring. But after several listens, I was forced to reevaluate. While the faster and louder songs like "Bodysnatchers", "Reckoner", and "15 Step" don't dissapoint, the softer and more mellow "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" and "Nude" are breathtaking.
Lyrics — 8
The album is full of Thom Yorke's usual cryptic lyrics that the listener never seems to understand but always connects with. Songs like "Bodysnatchers" and "Jigsaw Puzzle Falling into Place" display Yorke's strange free-form style that is reminiscient of the late-'50s/early '60s beat poets. The lyrics and music always seem to compliment each other and when Yorke's lyrics are uptight and erratic, the music follows suit. Yorke's vocal skills are still on the same level as when Radiohead released "The Bends" but anything else would be a dissapointment.
Overall Impression — 8
The album brings back the style that listeners are familiar with from "OK Computer" and the songs are certainly not hit single material but overall, the album is exciting and diverse. The key songs here are "Bodysnatchers", "Nude", "15 Step", and "Reckoner". And even though you can get the album on iTunes, CD, and Vynil, the 80$ box set is totally worth it. The bonus disc of outtakes and trashed songs are just as good, if not better, than the official album.