Saturday 27 October 2007

Radiohead - In Rainbows

These wily boys may have a secret album-title exchange program with Kelly Clarkson, but everything else about In Rainbows is typically hard-rocking Radiohead. Like every other Radiohead album except Kid A — still their most famous album, but they only made it once — In Rainbows has uptempo guitar songs and moody acoustic ballads, full of headphone-tweaking sound effects. All of it rocks; none of it sounds like any other band on earth; it delivers an emotional punch that proves all other rock stars owe us an apology.

In a brilliant move, Radiohead released In Rainbows via optional-pay download; I paid $5.27, in honor of my mom's birthday. Almost all the songs are already familiar to fans from live versions, but here they become expansive new creations. "Arpeggi" and "Bodysnatchers" ride on white-heat rhythm-guitar overdrive, while "House of Cards" is a fragile lovers-rock ballad closely resembling Dusty Springfield's (and the Byrds') "Going Back." "All I Need" has erotic pleading ("I'm an animal trapped in your hot car"), sad chimes in the "No Surprises" mode, and an ominoso synth-piano rumble.

On 2003's Hail to the Thief, Yorke's vocals were all punk rage, but here his voice has an R&B lilt that suits the songs' romantic directness. The end of "Videotape" is the only time the band dips back into dated glitch-blip electronics. Otherwise, the music is full of vividly collaborative sonic touches, from the Gary Numan synth-nightmare drones of "All I Need" and "House of Cards" to drummer Phil Selway's surprisingly deft way with his brushes and woodblocks. No wasted moments, no weak tracks: just primo Radiohead. Hell, I'm going back and tipping them another quarter just for the finger-cymbal solo on "Reckoner." rollingstone, Rob Sheffield , Oct 10, 2007

Mp3 | Radiohead - 15 Step
Mp3 | Radiohead - House Of Cards