Release Date: Oct 10, 2007
Genres: Alternative Rock
Number Of Tracks: 10
This is the OK Computer of the new millenium. Every song is perfectly fitting, there isn't a misplaced track, and everything synches into perfection.
TrippyLantern, on november 16, 2007 8 of 10 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is it. The album that has caused so much controversy, with it's "Pay What You Want" premise. Thanks to the time difference I got my copy at around 4pm after paying the low low price of 0 pounds for it (I'm broke and I'm getting the discbox for X-mas, so don't hassle me about it). So, I've gotten quite a few listens in this past 18 hours and not that much sleep(midterms aren't that hard, are they) In Rainbows, has been long awaited by Radiohead fans for the past four and a half years and up until 10 days ago, we all thought it wasn't coming out until March. Lucky us! Radiohead, is one of the only modern major-label bands to release an album without a label, so they have complete creative control and no deadlines. What has come out of this can only be described as Radiohead. This album is pure Radiohead. The mellow, cryptic, electronic, progressive-but-they-don't-like-to-be-called-that band we fans adore. Thom Yorke has said this albums is "almost embarassingly minimal" and he's almost right. It's like someone took every Radiohead album, put them in a blender and ran it through a strainer. It's minimalistic but in every good sense of the world. Like with all records I own, I listen to the record at least three time before I make my mind up about it and I've definitely listened to this album more than three times, so I have a pretty good idea about In Rainbows. This is a must with Radiohead records because you get something completely different out of each listen. I recommend this before you label this album as anything, good or bad.
01. 15 Step - this song caught me quite off guard. It's Radiohead but it isn't. There's this hip-hop-esque synth beat throughout the song but it evolves into a Amnesiac/Hail to the Thief progression and Thom is just rockin' along to it. Then the guitar, bass and drum come in and that's when the song comes alive. My favourite part is when Thom sing "etcetera etcetera" and then the bass follow in.
02. Bodysnatchers - bass intro, sweet. This song gets down to business right away. This song reminds me of the Pablo Honey days but it has the charm of the the more recent experimental releases. The bass has to be the best part of this song and you'll want to tap your toe along to it's groove.
03. Nude - this song has been floating around since the OK Computer days and a couple seconds into the song you'll know why they waited a decade to release it. I always love sons that float around for a couple years before they're released because the end result is usually nothing short of amazing and Nude is another great example of this. The song begins with Thom singing his beautiful falsetto and some backwards parts compliment his voice. Then the rest of the song is mostly Thom and the rhythm section. The guitars make their appearance but even they kinda act like rhythm instruments, complimenting the bass and drums.
04. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi - a live fan favourite for the past couple years and with very good reason. This song has translated very well to the studio. Very mellow track that has a very lively beat. This song is abundant with synth like the last three albums and since it's done in stereo, the effect is very pleasant and unlike some of the tracks from Kid A/Amnesiac, it isn't overwhelming at all, not even to the first time listener.
05. All I Need - another bass intro, but with synth! Simple track with what appears to be a glockenspiel or metalophone in the backround. The chorus is quite catchy and I think if Radiohead wanted to release a single from this album, this song would probably do best chart-wise. But they've never cared about how popular their singles are. Tis why I love Radiohead, they always find a way to stick it to the man.
06. Faust Arp - an acoustic track accompanied by a string quartet. An absolutely beautiful song. I have no idea what Faust Arp is but it is a song that will never cease to send shivers down my spine.
07. Reckoner - this song is driven by cymbals and very high vocals. I'm not sure if Thom is singing in falsetto or not or whether he is harmonizing with himself in falsetto. Either way he is singing really high and it sounds great. The strings return for certain parts but they're not as centric as they were in Faust Arp. It's not the strongest track on the album but it's a lot better than some of the crap that's on the radio these days.
08. House Of Cards - this track is a little more guitar driven than any of the previous tracks and they're is a delay effect that kind of acts as a constant rhythm for the track that plays around with the drums and bass. The instruments each stand out in this track but they work well together, which seems to be a constant throughout In Rainbows.
09. Jigsaw Falling Into Place - acoustic guitar and heavy bass, how can you go wrong? Well, if it's a Radiohead song, you can't. Thom's vocals go from a slow drone to a high belt, which he does to great affect. A very catchy tune. The melody is already stuck in my head and I'm more than happy to give it a permanent home in my cerebellum.
10. Videotape - I bet you thought that the video of Thom in the studio wouldn't translate to studio. I know I was worried, when I saw how awesome his performance was, but my worries have been to lain to rest. The vocals are much clearer in this version and I can hear the words and the emotion more clearly. There is a rhythm with a quick attack and decay and almost no sustain and it acts as a counter to the piano. It may seem out of place on the firt listen but you soon come to realize that it belongs there and it compliments the piano beautifully. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics range from the weird cryptic lyrics that we Radiohead fans spend hours trying to decipher when we should be doing other things (ex. studying, feeding the dog, putting out the fire in the kitchen) to the simplistic, like All I Need: "all I need is you, all I need is you" and House of Cards: "I don't want to be your friend I want to be your lover." The lyrics compliment the music and vice versa. It's just a wonder how the music and the lyrics capture each other so well. It's the reason why Radiohead continues to sell tonnes of records. Thom's voice is as mellow as always and Ed provide excellent harmonies. The harmonies on the record are not only more abundant but they will blow your mind if you take the time to search for them. // 9
Overall Impression: Like I said, this album is a compilation of all Radiohead has done before but it's been stripped down to great effect. All the instruments, rhythms, and computers stand out but they blend nicely. Like all Radiohead albums, this record takes a couple listens all the way through with your complete and undivided attention to understand. This is the beauty that is Radiohead, it filters out the people who have the attention span of a goldfish and can't be bothered to listen to one track all the way through. The rewards will be grand for anybody who listens to this album a couple times. It gets better each time and I'm sure it will have a permanent place in my top 20 albums that I keep in the car with me for long trips. I will be reviewing the discbox when I get it, so look out for that. On a final note, don't be cheap like me unless you're getting the discbox. I recommend a price of 5 pounds (10 bucks Canadian and American and about 7.5 Euro) as a minimum if you just want the download now. Or you can wait until you get the hard copy in December. // 10
libertine1989, on november 16, 2007 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Radiohead return with their eagerly anticipated 7th Lp and it does not disappoint. 4 years after Hail To The Theif, which recieved much criticism for its rushed recording and mastering, "In Rainbows" sees Radiohead totally reinvent themselves once more. With a sound that had once been described by the media as melancholy, this album takes away all of the stadium anthem feeling generated by previous albums and replaces it with beautiful stripped down melodies and rhythms, complete with the heavenly string section, arranged by Jonny Greenwood which features heavily throughout. There is not a note in the entire album that is there for no reason. This is complemented by the recording of the album, despite the download quality, the sound is absolutely perfect. look out in particular for the binaural recording on several tracks, notably "Jigsaws falling into place" and "Videotape." For those fans who heard or watched bootlegs on youtube, Radiohead present the same exceptional song writing they toured last year but now it all comes together to create a 10 track masterpiece that (as we have come to expect)runs like clockwork. Put simply "In Rainbows" sounds like an album one of the worlds best bands have taken 4 years to make. // 10
Lyrics: Like the overall sound of the album the lyrics now present a more stripped form of beauty and seem to speak directly to their listener.
01. 15 Step - Radiohead once again demonstrate their abilities in creating something technically challenging (5/4 timing) yet simply catchy. The use of effects on children clapping works fantastically among the drum beats for a short intro and then you are hit for the first time by Thom's voice, sounding like he is right beside you in the room. Sang with no great volume in his voice, yet the lyrics come through clear above the mixture of drum patterns: "how come I end up where I started?" the perfect start to the album. Jonny's sweetly laid guitar riff then brings the song into another dimension before it's chaotic climax. also watch out for Colin's nifty bass solo!
02. Bodysnatchers - the guitars then step up in the 2nd song, layering riffs on top of one another. Contrasting greatly from the song that was toured during 2006 in the way it has now been stripped down, yet the distorted guitars lead it to be the heaviest sounding song on the album. The clarity of each instrument is something that is perfect throughout the album and it really shows here. The build ups and background noises compliment the energy of the track perfectly and Thom gets to stretch some of his more "rock" orientated vocals. Will be a favourite with fans of Ok Computer and The Bends era Radiohead.
03. Nude - possibly the most beautiful song Radiohead have ever created. The song begins with an introduction created of a string section played backwards and Thom Yorke's voice; this then gives way to the subtle, simplistic sound of Colin's bass playing the simple chords just below Thom's voice. The song is then overtaken by the string section, not at all overwhelming, but blending in with the rest of the band, before the most perfect moment where Thom's voice "you'll go to hell for what you're dirty mind is thinking" is left to hang before beg drowned in sound again. Perfection.
04. Arpeggi/Weird Fishes - starting with a basic drum beat and then building up gradually, the guitar overlaid with beautifully placced effects, the arpeggio's sound beautiful doubled up. The breakdown in the song is a fine example of how Radiohead can suddenly switch to moments of chaos, the cymbals become particularly prominent and there is an array of sound effects taking you to some other world. The song ends reasonably abruptly and there is barely time to breathe before the next track begins, as is the way with the rest of the album, fully creating a landscape of songs and sounds.
05. All I Need - I personally was unsure about it's inclusion until I heard this version. This album version takes you on some dark journey of desperation through Thom's analogies "I am a moth that just wants to share your light." The dull strings and Colin's distorted bass line are lucrative against the desperate vocal and in the 2nd verse the hope begins to arise with the introduction of the glockenspiel adding a tinge to the darkness before the dramatic and powerful ending to the song.
06. Faust Arp - the previously unheard song. a beautiful acoustic once again with a beautiful string section, reminiscent of Nick Drake. Comparisons will also inevitably be made to the beatles "blackbird" The chord pattern is irregular but is carried perfectly by Thom's voice but the song takes on a whole new dimension when the slightly choppy string section enters, yet another face of radiohead shown. This possibly contains some of the albums best sung lyrics. This serves as a brilliant mid-point for the album.
07. Reckoner - the surprise. Expecting a 3ish minute "heavy" rock track, I was overwhelmed by a stunning 5 minute masterpiece. Sounding slightly like "I want none of this" from the war child EP, Reckoner contains beautifully sung vocals, both lead and backing once again complimented by Jonny's string arrangements but it is Phil Selway's drumming that really carries this track from start to finish. Thom Yorkes falsetto really shows the limits of his voice and the stretched lyrics are heavenly. Beautiful.
08. House Of Cards - another brilliant transition from the live version of this song. The guitar is played with such smooth crispness that you cannot help but be relaxed by it and the low sounds of drums and bass sway you into the metronome of the song, but in true radiohead fashion it is the vocals that create the cruel juxtaposition, sounding distant and echoing the repetition of "denial" is chilling. The string section and sound effects once again swarm the song. This is Radiohead at their most lucrative creating something so double edged in both it's happiness and beauty against it's despairingly honest lyrics.
09. Jigsaws Falling Into Place - starting with solid guitar lines overlapping each other, Jigsaws sets out to be the penultimate track to the album in the same vein as bodysnatchers was the 2nd track. However, Jigsaws takes the album to yet a new level. the sinister backing vocal, seeming dark and knowing. The binaural recording becomes so obvious as Thom's main vocal line begins, each line is crisp and precise. The song builds as more parts are added and by the songs conclusion "she looks back, you look back, not just once, not just twice, Jigsaw falling into place" you feel the full dramatic effect of the song. in a word: captivating.
10. Videotape - toured live as a full band version, some may be disappointed about the lack of instrumentation. I urge you to listen closer. This song is absolutely perfect. Thom's piano and voice ring clear throughout, the drumming is sparse and simple and acts as a background noise to the main song creating the full effect of the songs meaning. You are forced as a listener to concentrate harder on the main melody and in doing so realize the beauty of the words "this is my way of saying goodbye, because I can't do it face to face" "no matter what happens now I won't be afraid because I know today has been the most perfect day I've ever seen" Anything more climatic would have fully ruined the effect and brilliantly illustrates how the album works as a whole. There is no need for a dramatic climax as it has already been achieved in "all I need" earlier. This is subtle sweet and magic. A radiohead classic, that leaces you feeling just as disorientated as their earlier work did, yet now there is a heavenly feeling of contentment within oneself. // 10
Overall Impression: Firstly, the way in which this album was released and the stir it has caused in the record industry in itself has been fantastic. however, I do encourage the listener to go beyond the hype. Without making comparison to other works, I would say that in rainbows is an album any music lover should hear. Thom Yorke himself described the album as terrifying and on first impression it may be hard to see why. However, to me, I find that this statement is true. Where previous albums dealt with fear of politics, being alone, climate change etc., albeit in an uplifting way, "In Rainbows" takes it to a new level. The "terror" now comes from being content being in rainbows, untouched by society, with the perfect balance of sad rain and uplifting sun and the painful yet now fully achieved knowledge of life and what it entails. The songs of course, have their own meanings, but that is for the listener to shape. Personally I find it very hard to choose a favourite track as I am impressed by all 10 and the album works best as a whole though this collection is perhaps the most impressive done so far by radiohead, with another disc still to come. // 10
Gwynnell, on november 16, 2007 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Radiohead, still a band very much under pressure to produce an album equal to possibly the greatest album of all time; 'OK Computer', so does 'In Rainbows' deliver? On a whole yes. Tracks such as album opener, '15 Step' reminds you of songs which came out of the 'Kid A' recording sessions. Whereas the next track 'Bodysnatchers' sounds like it could have been in 'The Bends' due to the underlying guitar riff that travels through the song. The album varies from Electronica to a beautiful piano ballad. Most bands wouldn't vary styles within an album so much, but this is Radiohead! // 9
Lyrics: Lyrically the album is genious. Most tracks drift effortlessly into your mind, most noticabley 'Nude' with lyrics such as You've gone off the rails almost hypnotising you. The style is quite contradictorily to the apparent meaning of the song which seems quite dark and sinister as Thom Yorke also sings You'll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking. A band who has produced, arguably, some of the best lyrics of the modern era, haven't delivered on the scale of previous albums this time around but have still produced a very fine set of lyrics. The lyrics, beautiful as they are, are not on the same par as songs such as 'Fake Plastic Trees' and 'Black Star.' Thom Yorkes voice however doesn't disappoint, he may not be the same man as he was back in 1991 with the phenomenon that was 'Creep', which is very much a good thing. His faultless vocals drifting from track to track giving a feeling of, everything's ok, which once again seems quite contradictorily from the albums lyrical base of rejection and general insecurity. This may be in correlation to the title 'In Rainbows' a pleasant place, even though the worlds in a state of chaos underneath you. // 9
Overall Impression: Like with 'Kid A' the marketing for the album has been genius. Johnny Greenwood coming out and saying the album won't be out to 2008, then weeks later saying it's out in 10 days. Suddenly music sites turned into a Radiohead promotion site. One problem with this was always going to be, will the album be worthy of the hype prior to it's release. In one word, yes. The album is pure Radiohead, it's not on the level of OK Computer but the Radiohead in 1997 are very different to the Radiohead 10 years later. The album highlight for me is the album closer 'Videotape' possibly their best piano track, which is a lot to say after songs such as 'You and Whose Army' and 'Karma Police'. Not necessarily a bad point about the album but something that deserves to be noted is huge similarities to other Radiohead songs. The start of 'All I Need' sounds very much like it's going to go into 'Where I End and You Begin'. 'Nude' sounds like in places it's going to morph into 'Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong' and many other examples are dotted around the album. 'In Rainbows' isn't long enough in my opinion, but with the boxset coming out in December including another CD of new material should make In Rainbows an epic adventure that only Radiohead can deliver. If I lost the music files I would definitely download it again as it is another album by Radiohead that I can listen to time and time again. It may not be OK Computer but it's still one of the albums of the year! // 10
Something_Vague, on november 16, 2007 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Radiohead is the musical chameleon, and this album proves to be as changing as OK Computer was to Kid A. The album was released free over the internet, to huge publicity, and there is a reason for this and it isn't the fact that Radiohead is generous (ex. eighty dollar box-set) it's the fact that Radiohead understands music isn't worth paying for anymore. With that non-sense out of the way, let me say this album is absolutely perfect. I hate to be filled with over-praise, but over four listens, there isn't a single weak track on this album. There isn't one. Even Kid A has Treefingers, which is a throw-away track. This album is absolutely, perfect. I will go in-depth anyway, for the sake of the readers.
The first track "15 Step" starts almost too familiar, sampled loops, and clicks and boops, but this track is almost like anti-opener. This song is the exact opposite of the rest of the cd, almost as if to say, "We are not this anymore, now watch as we transform before your eyes." They do just that, and it happens during the song when the bass and the haunting guitar mesh into the looped beat. This track starts the album with a slow ferocity, a slow, gyrating ferocious beat. Bodysnatchers begins with a long forgotten sound on Radiohead album's; a prominent fuzzy guitar. It is reminiscent of The Bends, and there isn't a synth or looped beat in sight. It is a straight rock track, with a mighty bass, and little throwback guitar fills. The track progresses to a thundering climax think "Electioneering" meets "There There." Nude is the Pyramid Song of the cd, a slow, crawl of a jazz track. More inspiration from the Amnesiac closer and Hail to the Thief closer, in the swing era. It's almost like it's the darker, ghostly version of those tracks. If "A Wolf at the Door" is the evil brother, and "Life in a Glasshouse" is the dancing sister, this track is the Mellon collie sibling looking forward to a hopeful and bright day. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi reminds me if Brian Eno had a three-way with U2 and Coldplay. The guitar track on this is absolutely mesmerizing, and the drum beat is the upbeat and hopeful ingredient Radiohead has been lacking since Kid A. This track also has some of the strangest lyrics of the album and Radiohead's career. The climax of the song is heartbreaking. All I Need is the next track and begins slowly; it begins with a fuzzed bass, ricocheting across the bouncing drum beat. Thom sings over this and slow moving synths in the background, almost invisible. The chorus comes with some atmospheric string arrangements by Greenwood, and suddenly becomes one of the most complete and beautiful pieces Radiohead has done. Soaring strings and synths fly over Thom's voice and it slowly becomes a blissful romantic plea, for true and unconditional love with the addition of Pianos and a crashing drum beat. Easily one of the most powerful moments in Radiohead history. Faust Arp is one of the few acoustic tracks on the album. Starting with a quick plucked acoustic with some string arrangements by Greenwood. Thom Yorke almost gasping for breath as he tries to pull out every wood in this quick paced quiet turn-around from the last track's epic climax.
Reckoner begins with a reverby drum, and some of the best guitar work Greenwood's ever done. Thom's falsetto sets the song off and it doesn't truly begin until the bass kicks in full blast and puts the song all together. It suddenly stops face first in the exact middle, and it turns itself around. Strings come in, and accompany Thom's voice singing his little British heart out, when the full band comes back in, the emotion is felt, and it seems Thom is finally starting to understand his own voice as an instrument. House of Cards, a kooky southern tinged song. I can't put my finger on this song, but it works pretty well. Out of an entire CD of amazing tracks, this track seems to be the "decent" one of the bunch, not amazing, but just decent. Thom's voice is too reverby for my tastes and the song doesn't go anywhere exciting. Jigsaw Falling into Place is a rehash of 2+2=5. Except it is the juggernaut of the album, the song that punches you in the face, grabs your side and throws you into the wall. This track begins to album's penultimate and final umph, Thom glooms over a quick paced drum beat and haunting humming. The guitar is Paranoid Android basically, but darker and heavier. This track is absolutely perfect, and builds, and builds. "Come on and let it out" Thom yells, and you can cut the tension with a spoon. It keeps building and it doesn't stop building this tension, never to be fully released. The final track, Videotape, may be the most personal track Thom has ever written and may replace Street Spirit as his hardest to play. The piano is painful, the bass follow's Thom's voice as it crawls, almost reluctantly against the track. Still building from the last track, as Thom near emotional breakdown never fully releases, and finally just stops. The track contains the most optimist lyrics on the CD, and ultimately shows Radiohead's readiness to embrace their personality as a band, and their embrace to go full circle and re-create themselves as a rock band. // 10
Lyrics: As always, Thom delivers cryptic, ghostly lyrics. The most powerful being, "Video Tape." The final verse of the cd, and perhaps one of the most uplifting Radiohead has ever written. "No matter what happens now/I won't be afraid/Because I know today has been the most perfect day I've ever seen." An uplifting look into one's own life, or the final realization that this is as good as it is going to get. There is no reason to be afraid of life, and death because this is perfection. He's speaking almost as an existentialist, as a father, and a husband, and he's saying that though the world may be depressing, terrible, and awful, the true beauty is in the love you share with your family. Love and beauty is reachable, and it isn't in saving the world, it's in saving yourself. // 10
Overall Impression: This is the OK Computer of the new millenium. Every song is perfectly fitting, there isn't a misplaced track, and everything synches into perfection. There isn't a single thing to hate about this album except for the fact that Radiohead refuses to sink into mediocrity. Young people and musicians revel in the fact that Radiohead haven't released a bad album since their debut, almost five brilliant albums later, and they can churn out what may be their most consistant and accessible album yet, and while they have sacrificed some of their creative bleeps and bloops, they haven't sacrificed their brilliance to innovate beyond innovation. If it were stolen, I'd download another, because it's free baby. Prepare for the music industry to understand what it is to be an artist. // 10
robotcar, on january 30, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 8
Lyrics: 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. // 8
Overall Impression: 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. // 8
Koeniewoonie, on november 16, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I(and perhaps millions of other people) have been waiting for this moment for almost 3 years. I Couldn't really believe what was happening when they said that the album was finished. I knew it would be a great album. Radiohead have never made a bad album. But this one is just perfect. Their sound had slightly changed, they got some distortion on the drums on the opening track:"15 Step"that reminds me of Idioteque. Thom's voice is still great. Jonny is still rocking on his tele and everything is just perfect! This album really is a kind of mix between Kid A and HTTT. You can also hear that they have changed the songs(guitarparts, drums), they are not exactly the same as the live versions. // 10
Lyrics: The reason that I love Radiohead is because of Thoms songwriting skills. also on this album you can hear that he still got that talent. I never cried in songs before, but when I listened to the lyrics of Arpeggi I just had to. And than I realized that this is just the best band in the world. Thom is a genious! It sounds perfect, everything. // 10
Overall Impression: As I told you before, this album is a kind of mix between the electronic Kid A and the more alternative Hail to the Thief. I think it is almost a new genre, I have never heard a kind of style like this. 15 step starts of with a cool breakbeat, bodysnatchers sounds like a rock version of Planet Telex, Nude is a real radiohead classic, only radiohead can do something like this. I mean, the most bands these days, they make an album with 2/3 cool songs and 8 crap songs. Radiohead did it again! 10 songs, 10 Great songs, 10 songs you'll never forget. // 10
Draken, on november 16, 2007 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Radiohead's latest work is symbolic of thier style as a band, it's singularity and pure independance as a piece demonstrated as much by the nature of the release and the pick your price downloads is further exemplified by the music itself. As is so typical of Radiohead the music seems to fit so well with the songs, Nude's pure simplicity which sets the tone for Thom's almost haunting lyrics are fantastic. Also the production and use of string on the album's hidden gem Faust Arp. // 9
Lyrics: The Lyrics of In Rainbows are yet again a trimumph and lyrical innovation on the part of Radiohead. Thom's almost haunting vocals fit so well other the almost eerie music of some of the tracks like Nude, Faust Arp, Reckoner and Videotape. But also his slightly more punchy lyrics more consistant of the OK Computer era can be heard as well in many other tracks on the album. Thom Yorke yet again shows great command over Falsetto in his singing. // 8
Overall Impression: Overall I'd give this album a 9/10 it's absolutely sublime, after the lengthy wait for an album including the fact that up until the 1st of October the album was without a title and was also rumoured to be released in March of 2008, Radiohead has been able to use skillful promotion due to the chose what you pay idea with the electronic media copies of the album, as well as dangling a tantalizing boxset at christmas with a second CD of tracks as well as Vinyl and Artwork. The album had some great songs and some fantastic songs but my 3 picks would have to be: Nude (for it's bleak if not haunted vocals and sparse music that somehow seems to perfect), Faust Arp (the Album's Hidden gem truly fantastic with acoustic guitar overlaid with a string arrangement and Thom Yorke's amazing singing), Weird Fishes/Arpeggi (the rapid almost electronic drum beat coupled with the gentle piano make this song almost sound resembelant of the later half of amnesiac, with it's more electronic feel with the vocals almost sounding like they come direct from Thom Yorke's solo work). I'd recommend everyone get this album if they can, even if you listen to it only once it's 40 minutes well spent. // 10
linkinwayne, on november 16, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 10
Lyrics: 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. // 8
Overall Impression: 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. // 9
unregistered, on november 16, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album has not been released yet for purchase in CD at stores, but Rolling Stone as well as millions of fans see it as a legitimate album, so I thought I would do a review of it. As with other Radiohead's music, this album took me a while to warm up to. It's by no means a catchy pop rock record, it takes some time to absorb and appreciate and love. Yorke's voice seems subdued to me on many of the tracks as if it's hidden behind the instruments as compared to his earlier stuff like OK Computer. The guitar also sounds subtler in the mixing, and the beats have become more prominent. // 9
Lyrics: I have trouble hearing Yorkes voice and understanding what he says a lot of the time, but the words I do hear (I don't quite know the meaning of them), fit very well with the music. For me, it's less about what the lyrics mean as how do the lyrics sound with the music. House of cards is one of those that fits very well with the surrounding music. // 8
Overall Impression: I still think OK Computer blows this album away, but then again I prefer guitar-driven rock. My favorites on the album are probably 15 Step, Bodysnatchers, Reckoner, House of Cards, and Videotape. On a whole, this record is much softer and more laid back than others. "Chill out" album is the simplest way to put it which was a little dissapointing at first (I expected heavier) but once you expect that, it's a great record. I purchased this online from Radiohead directly, but hypothetically if I did lose it, I would purchase it again. I bought it originally for 3.5 pounds online and if I had to pay another 3.5 pounds I would. // 8
DazzaSchwings, on november 16, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: For the better part of the year, all has been relatively quiet on the Radiohead-front: some concert dates here, sporadic posts on 'Dead Air Space', but nothing really definitive or tangible with regards to the new album. Fans knew it was coming, the question was when. Then suddenly, the band dropped a bombshell: their new album was called In Rainbows and people would be able to download it. What's more, listeners could pay whatever they wanted for it, they could even pay nothing, and were still politely thanked for their custom! Consequently, Radiohead created a buzz within the music community of a kind which has not been seen in a good while. Critics and fans were praising the band for this stark approach, coining the move a proverbial and much-needed "kick in the pants" of the music industry, though much to Jonny Greenwood's denial. Now that the initial hype has subsided, it is important to see whether the music stands up to the hype. And the wonderful truth is that it does.
What is immediate about In Rainbows is that the band sound comfortable, and surprisingly, happy. Though not a word not usually associated with Radiohead, happy is probably the best way of describing the album: the title even conjures a sense of warmth about it. Comfortable and happy, though, are not to be confused with casual or laid-back, because the album comes across as particularly consistent and focused. Hail to the Thief was not only praised by many critics for the return to a more guitar-based sound, but for what was felt to be a certain consistency though to be lacking (unfairly so) from the fractured Amnesiac. The problem with Hail to the Thief, though, is at times the band seemed like they were going through the motions. This is Radiohead we are talking about, so for any regular band HTTT would seem like their magnum opus; however, in some places, the music seemed to take a back-seat to the politically-charged lyrics. In Rainbows, however, shows a band unafraid of their abilities. Another important feature is that the album is varied. Bodysnatchers stands as one of their most rocking tracks of recent years, featuring a driving modulated guitar riff, and an ending showcasing some Jonny Greenwood brilliance reminiscent of The Bends and OK Computer. All I Need is one of the most heartfelt and beautiful Radiohead songs in recent years, as is the long-awaited arrival of Nude. The standout Reckoner (which contains the title) combines the percussive-drive of There, There with the jazzy feel of Amnesiac, topping it all off with a dreamy string-arrangement. The electronic elements are still there, most notably on the upbeat 15 Step, though this time around these are combined with the ever-precise drumming of Phil Selway. Speaking of the bald but polite drummer, his presence is also more evident on In Rainbows. He gives a nod to drum and bass on All I Need providing a clever Amen-break, which serves not only to reveal his depth of musical awareness and knowledge, but it also gives the song a meditative drive. The lovely Weird Fishes/Arpeggi would also not be the same without his precise sense of rhythm. Closer Videotape is also one of the best tracks on In Rainbows. Such a track has the potential to be utterly ruined by some monumental build-up, but with Videotape it never comes: the band seem content to let the pretty piano-melody combine with Thom Yorke's beautiful falsetto, whilst allowing odd drum-machine rhythms to flow in and out of time. The result is something resembling something of a death-march, but with more a sense of contentment and happiness than sorrow. // 9
Lyrics: Lyrically, In Rainbows is something of a departure for what has come to be expected of Thom Yorke in recent years. Yes, he is still as paranoid as ever: after being picked over by the worms, we are told you reel me out and cut the string and I have no idea what you are talking about. Thom Yorke described the lyrics as scary, like OK Computer stuff, but much more terrifying; however, In Rainbows does not really explore feelings of alienation as deeply as did OK Computer. Generally, the lyrics are heartfelt and gone largely are the political fixations of Hail to the Thief, giving the album a varied emotional range. Though Yorke was intellectual and particularly apt in many of his political comments, this is Radiohead and not Rage Against the Machine, so a scaled-down political focus is more welcome. This time around there is even a few love songs: All I Need is one of the most intelligent songs of unrequited love, and House of Cards is as beautiful as the arrangement. Videotape portrays also very contented Yorke, and it really does seem like the most perfect day ever seen for a man so often associated with what some call depressive teenage boy lyrics. As always, Thom Yorke gives a standout vocal performance. If anything, he has improved vocally on each album since OK Computer. // 9
Overall Impression: In Rainbows is a great album from Radiohead. Though not the genre-smashing experimental work that has come to be expected from the band in recent years, it is a solid release nonetheless, showing a band in their prime and comfortable with their creative ability. During the tour for OK Computer, Thom Yorke expressed disdain for American alternative radio, commenting that it had a sound akin to a buzzing fridge. So I guess you are probably wondering whether the media circus surrounding In Rainbows simply disguised the fridge-buzz like sound that Yorke himself criticised. If you are one those people who will complain about the poor sound quality of the 160kps mp3-files, then you might well think this. If not, then you will definitely love this album. // 10
emidog, on june 14, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound of this album is one the most mellow albums that I've ever heard. It has a sound of it's own. There is no point in the album that reminds me of another band except Radiohead. This is a very radio friendly album so nothing is over the top. I was on eof the fortunate ones to have paid nothing for the album so it's a sweet deal all the way around. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics on this CD make very little sense to me but somehow they pulled it off. If you sing any of the songs while your driving in the car with another person. They may very think that you are insane. Once again though you can't really understand most of what he says because he kind of mumbles. // 10
Overall Impression: 01. 15 Step - very up beat song with a cool beginning. You can almost not even kniow what it is that Thom Yorke says unitl you listne close enough.
02. Bodysnatchers - most radio-friendly song on the album with a surprisingly distorted guitar part in it. good song.
03. Nude - without a doubt one of the slowest and best slow jams that radiohead has ever done. Very good song.
04. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi - very good druming by Phil Selway in this song. One of the fast pace songs of the album.
05. All I Need - very slow paced song. it almost made me go to sleep, wich not ecatly is a bad thing. Very soothing song.
06. Faust Arp - don't really know what to make of this song. It's very sort but it delivers a sad feeling to it.
07. Reckoner - it's got one of the coolest titles I've ever heard before just say it. Reckoner, but it's not a metal song. Just another good Radiohead song.
08. House Of Cards - one of my favorite songs. Mainly because it gets stuck in my head and I sing it at work all the time. Very catchy.
09. Jigsaw Falling Into Place - it's an epic song to me. It gives my a frantic feeling with a sense of something bad is about to happen.
10. Videotape - my least favorite song on the album. It's just a little to boring to me.
Buy this album because it is a very soothing sound for the ears. // 10
ashesofwake, on july 02, 2008 0 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sound: Really different sound, it is a completely diffrent type of alternative rock. The lead Singer Colin Greenwood has a new way to present his vocal sound into the record. He can change his voice into a variety of diferent ways depending on the type of song he is performing. An example in the song Nude he has a much softer tone that not only reflects the mood of the song but the mood of the singer as well. There are so many combinations of sound in this album it is almost difficult to point out the instruments that are being played in each song like Bodysnatchers for example. The beginning doesn't even sound like guitar almost like a warped keyboard. Very interesting tone throughout the whole song. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics in this radiohead album I would have to admidt are not Colin Greenwood's best poetry. They add an interesting tone to each of the songs but they really don't seem to match up to the title of the song in any way. It is kind of confusingto understand what the lyrics actually mean in the album. The one song in the album that really makes sense when it comes to the lyrics is the song Nude it kind of describes not only the subject of being nude but almost the concept. The other songs in the album the lyrics have little or no meaning and it is hard to make out. // 6
Overall Impression: It is probably not the best Radiohead album some of the ways that the song is presented in a sort of warped tone. Some of the other albums such as OK Computer and Kid A are very good because they are presented on the record rather well. The key songs on the album which are probably the most attractive to a first time listener of radiohead is the song Bodysnatchers with extreame upbeat tone and intenseity throughout the whole entire song which create anticipations to a first time listener. If the album was lost or stolen I would probably buy it again even though it is not their best album it is still unique that it is an interesting new sound not only to the band of radiohead but to alternative rock listerners everywhere. // 7
AnalyseYorkeFan, on november 24, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I've always loved Radiohead, from when I first picked up Pablo Honey to Kid A, and now I'm falling in love with them all over again with In Rainbows. Radiohead is definitely one of the most influential bands out there, and their sound is so incredibly difficult to describe, because they're always shaking things up and freaking us out, as well as making us love them even more.
01.15 Step: a very cool song. Definitely one that I could groove to, and in fact, did at their concert in Vancouver in August. The mixture of the digital beat, and Phil's amazing drumming, make this track a real masterpiece.
02.Bodysnatchers: wicked cool. I absolutely adore the guitar riff in this song, took me forever to learn. Really reminds me of their early guitar-driven rock sound, but with Thom's funky melody and the strange lyrics we've all come to love.
03.Nude: as stated in a previous review, this song has been around for a looong time. However, I love this most recent apparition of it. Thom's vocals are mesmerizing, and Colin's bass-line sticks in my head for hours. Lovely.
04.Weird Fishes/Arpeggi: pretty cool track. Thom's vocals are nice, and full of emotion.
05.All I Need: though the lyrics are simplistic, they are also beautiful. This song blows me away. It's touching.
06.Faust Arp: the guitar in this song is awesome. I still can't play it and sing it at the same time. I saw this preformed live and it was absolutely beautiful. The version on the album is just as great.
07.Reckoner: a very nice piece. Thom's vocals almost remind me of an early female jazz singer. They're very smooth and clean. This song is both complex and simple. I love it.
08.House of Cards: the guitar sound in this song is absolutely fantastic. Sort of reminds me of a ukelele-esque, Jason Mraz or Jack Johnson song. Really nice.
09.Jigsaw Falling Into Place: honestly, I haven't really listened to this track a whole lot. Dunno why really, I probably will sometime soon.
10.Videotape: amazing. Simply beautiful. The whole song blows me away, it's epic, and fantastic. Best track on the album.
Ok, now, I don't own the box-set, or whatever the second disk comes with, but I have heard a few tracks from it.
02. Down is the New Up: really nice, a moving track.
05.Last Flowers: another beautiful track. I really don't know why this wasn't on the first disk. It's great.
07.Bangers + Mash: awesome. Thom on the drums, so cool. Really changes things up, it's awesome. Awesome. Awesome. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album really range from simplistic, to strange. I love them all. I wish I could get inside Yorke's head and figure out what it is that inspires him to write such incredible music. Thom Yorke is a f--king fantastic singer. He is quite possibly the best vocalist of the modern era. He is inspiring. Absolutely amazing. // 10
Overall Impression: This album is definitely the Ok Computer of the new millenium. Every song is great, the album is laid out perfectly, and the fact that they allowed their listeners to choose the price was really a great thing. That is the way music should be, in my opinion. Musicians should make their money from preforming live. That would definitely eliminate any shitty acts. If someone stole this album from me, I'd hunt them down. // 10
Amnesiac1234, on april 09, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound on this album is much cleaner than the other albums they have put out. You got the Piano over a drumloop on "Videotape" and the rough fuzz guitar on "Bodysnatchers". Most of these songs are ideas they have written down while on tour. I would the style used in this album as a quite soft rock and a very experimental rock. It can get a little boring to just listen to the same clean sound on the whole album, but I can't say no to their creativity. // 9
Lyrics: Thom Yorke makes the most incredible lyrics, but sometimes they can be misunderstood and confusing. "How did I end up where I started, how did I end up where i were wrong" "Dont get any big ideas, never gonna happen" Thom Yorke is still an amazing singer after all these years and his creativity is mindblowing! Haunting beautiful voice in this album so he deserves a 10. // 10
Overall Impression: "In Rainbows" is on my top 5 shelf and its just full of emotion. This stands between "Kid A" and "Hail to the thief", but every album is so different from the last one so they are evolving greatly. The most impressive song from the album for me is: Bodysnatchers, Weird Fishes/Arpeggi, Nude, Jigsaw falling into place, Reckoner and Videotape.
This is a album that just need to be in my collection so I would run to my local recordshop to buy it again, whatever the price is. // 8
oiiopo, on june 22, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Just to make sure, this isn't going to sound even slightly like The Bends or OK Computer. This is completely new. In Rainbows shows a side of Radiohead that is drastically different, unique, and really a testament to the genius of Radiohead - the music is always different and ever changing.
This album, for starters, is quite ambient. There is much less guitar work as compared to their early albums, and is slightly comparable to that of Kid A. Where there is guitar, it is often little arpeggios and rhythm loops. Honestly, I see what Radiohead is trying to do with this album, but I do slightly miss the unpredictable solos.
The drumwork is also much simpler and softer. Usually just simple 4/4 beats to complement the vocals, the drums on OK Computer do not show great flair, but do greatly complement the vocals. Otherwise, the drums also play a key role in some background sounds, laying down some abstract beats and adding the mystifying and cerebral feel in songs such as Videotape.
Synth plays a large part in this album. The synth keeps the chords used, as well as generally slowing down the pace of the song and rounds the sound of the vocals and guitar. It echoes almost throughout the whole album, making sure that the silence does not show through the composition. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are, to be frank, rather incomprehensible. While they are rather sparse, they are echoed and sometimes murmured, again in contrast to some of Radiohead's earlier work. They are abstract, poetic, and greatly open to consideration.
Often the lyrical content is quite sad, and telling of stories of lost love and of situations requiring harsh decisionmaking. The distance of the vocals emphasises this mood, of self-contemplation and problems that arise that cannot be solved easily. This album, however, does have hope at the end of the tunnel as Videotape shows.
Thom Yorke's voice often sounds familiar but quite distant. He does not aim for incredibly challenging notes, instead staying in a medium register or using a soft falsetto. The vocals are also echoed through with a lot of sustain, which while blurring the lyrics adds to the effect of the album. // 8
Overall Impression: This album is very good by Radiohead standards, but is rather hard to compare to other artists because of its uniqueness. In Rainbows sounds incredibly different to mainstream music, and bears only the slightest resemblance to soft electronic music.
For the album that was released for free off the band's webpage, In Rainbows is incredible work. If you haven't got a copy already, I suggest you add it to your collection for when you're feeling moody and distant.
And, the question that is bound to come up: Is In Rainbows better than OK Computer? Well, it's not better, but it's not worse. It is, however, incredibly different. Kudos. // 9