coach’s review

so, i’ve listened to in rainbows about six times. it’s a pretty incredible album. on the first track you think it sound like “the eraser,” and then you hear johnny’s guitar, and phil’s immaculate drumming; those are the two elements that really stand out. in rainbows really feels like more of a natural progression from hail to the thief. amnesiac and hail to the thief are almost polar opposites. for the most part the album is mellower than hail to the thief lacking that penchant for the spasmodic thom yorke from the snl performance of idioteque. instead we get the smooth, artistic, and emotional thom that songs like “lucky” have brought me to love (not that i don’t love spasmodic thom). “bodysnatchers” (track 2), as i’ve said rocks as hard as anything on ok computer, but is definitely more reminiscent of hail to the thief than the rest of the album. my favorite track is definitely “all i need.” the bass line makes the song, and it’s so easy for me to lose myself in its meandering melody. “house of cards” is another top track off of in rainbows. it’s beautiful really, and reminds me almost of “wolf at the door” on hail to the thief with its understated melody and thom’s voice portraying a “soulfulness” we don’t usually hear from him. all in all in rainbows does way more than break down the barriers that the music industry has set up through the commodifation of art. it is art in itself. it might not be the masterpiece that ok computer is, but it stands as one of radiohead’s top achievements.

a friend of mine and i were discussing the album earlier and we both agreed that this will probably be radiohead’s last album. *single tear* we said that radiohead had achieved so much and that 14 years into their career, they knew how to behave like professional artists. their blog dead air space often mentioned how much time they spent on their work and how much they miss spending time with their families. essentially, what i’m saying is that radiohead has matured. they’ve made a name for themselves (“best band in the world right now” is quite a name, and i’ve heard it used by credible sources), and they know how to go out with a bang. there is also word of a tour of the states next year.

i’ll leave with the question that johnny greenwood posed in the pitchfork interview. what is music worth? i think that question will be the end of the music industry as we know it. there will always be a place for smaller labels where bands can have their albums financed. indie fans will rely on smaller labels as sources of new music for a long time to come. i wish the best of luck to radiohead, and ask them to please visit texas on their tour (austin is a helluva town).


  1. I just want them to put together one little ep of songs before they leave for good though.

    A little ep of only the bends and ok computer-influenced songs…

    But don’t get me wrong. I freakin dig the new album and am thinking about getting the disc box after listening to it all day. It took me about 10 listens to get to this point…I’m sure it has even more unfolding left to do.

  2. southpawright

    knowing radiohead, even though this will (probably) be their last album, they won’t let that prevent them from making music. i expect thom to make more solo work, and i know that johnny is currently composing several different pieces to be performed by orchestras all across the western world. (btw, if anyone has ANY audio of the Popcorn Superhet Receiver stuff, please email me). i wouldn’t be surprised to see a slow trickle of EPs and singles coming out of the band’s vast repertoire for some years to come.

  3. I’ve listened to the album probably over 30 times. Forget the EP request. I want one more album. Just one more.

  4. sywhofloats

    southpawright, you can listen to all of Popcorn Superhet Receiver along with a brief interview with Jonny recorded from BBC Radio 3 here:

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