Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Radiohead: In Rainbows

I've gotten a bunch of new music over Christmas break - most of it from groups I had not heard much of before like The Spoons, Feist, Sara Bareilles, The National and Radiohead. I had not spent much time with Radiohead although I had listened to OK Computer a few times and enjoyed it when I was in the right mood. Their new album, In Rainbows, jumped to have a firm place in both my car and my iPod. I was thinking about what I liked about it and found this review, Radiohead: In Rainbows - PopMatters Music Review, that did a great job of summarizing much of what I like about the album so, instead of me writing this one, daunting since I'm not a huge Radiohead fan and many are calling this one of the top albums of the year, I'd just send you over to the review. I would especially like to point out this paragraph that nicely sums up what first grabbed me about the album:
Radiohead themselves seem to be ready to move on during opener “15 Step”. The song starts in well-traveled Radiohead territory—a heavy drum loop bumps and chugs along while Yorke’s trademark whine waxes paranoid, singing “First you reel me out and then you cut the string”. Jonny Greenwood layers some surges of static over all of that and the formula is set. That is, until a surprisingly docile, sliding guitar riff comes in, setting a contrast that carries through the entire album, where everything calm turns out to be decidedly not, and everything anarchic is more childlike and giddy than sinister. As the song pushes on, a battle arises as drummer Phil Selway takes on the drum loops, playing fast and precise as ever, and eventually he wins out. He finishes the song, and the rest of the record rests on his sturdy shoulders.

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