The new Radiohead, as we listen to it.

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In Rainbows .. available now! With liveblogging!

15 Step
Getcher hip-hop on boys, including the trademark Yorke yowl.

Bodysnatchers
A rocker, but in the “anthemic” sense, a la “National Anthem.” Get it? Anthemic sense? Whatever … next song.

Nude
All I can say? finally.

Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
The title would lead one to believe this is a throw off track .. but it’s not. In fact it’s a slow builder in the vein of King Crimson. That is if Fripp when knew when to hold back, which he doesn’t. A great bridge too, by the way.

All I Need
Mmmmm … bass keys. Nice and claustrophobic. Slowly expands,. but never really resolves itself.

Faust Arp
Think “Row Your Boat,” if “Row Your Boat” was sailing on the seas of paranoia. Also, file under folk tinged disaster.

Reckoner
I’ve heard this before … the band is beginning to repeat themselves. But at online viagra least their cribbing from some of their best moments. Creepy, subterranean, folk.

House of Cards
A distant cousin of “Pyramid Song,” only with a taste of The Bends.

Jigsaw Falling Into Place
Oh! Now we’re back in OK Computer territory? I suspect this is the one that will have have fans wetting their pants. Aside from the inclusion of “Nude” of course/

Videotape
And again, a taste of the past, sort of “Exit Music.”

Overall, well worth the four bucks I paid for it — with is twice what the band would have made from a physical copy sold through a label.

Color us pleased androids.

BTW: The downloading process? Seamless, super-quick, and painless.

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  • Matt

    What a load of rubbish. What song does Reckoner sound like then? House of Cards is nothing like Pyramid Song.

  • lisa

    thanks for doing this! can’t wait!

  • http://www.tankboyprime.blogspot.com tankboy

    Listen to the intro, that’s where the comparison comes in.

  • c dub

    I wrote a quickie review here:

    http://www.drinkmoloko.com/v2/

    please be gentle.

  • c dub

    Blinking in my inbox like a traffic light in a vacant downtown intersection, there it is, the e-mail from Waste (Radiohead). The e-mail came in around 1:30 am, plenty of time to sit down with it a few times in the wee hours of the morning. With this release, there was a first for both me as a music buyer, and Radiohead as a band. In Rainbows, the band’s seventh studio record, is being released sans record label, and more importantly, sans physical compact disc or LP. The mp3 download of the record was offered about a week ago for a “name your price” offer. People going to their website could basically let their conscious guide them to either giving Radiohead $20 or .20 cents for the new album. The adventurous soul could also shell out over $80 to get actually discs and vinyl that would arrive in a box set sometime in December. But enough about all that.
    Is it any good? In a word, yes. The style has not changed much from their last three – Kid A, Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief. I expected the usually knob twiddling and squelched sound effects, and they appear from the start. In Rainbows has its share of sparse beats, incomprehensible vocals and lush orchestration, but not much in the way of straight forward guitars, emotional punch or, well, classic styled tunes.
    Like their last three albums (and Thom Yorke’s solo work), I really enjoy what they put out, but ultimately feel they give the listener a cold experience, more times than they should. On occasion, they manage to break through the blips and whirls with some stunning emotion and almost jazz-like instrumentation.
    The problem in recent years is these flashes of brilliance and warmth come too far and few between all of the tinkering. I always go back to OK Computer and compare how I felt when I first heard that. It was just as challenging (at the time), but was more rewarding than anything anyone could have imagined. It became a classic. Kid A was also a challenging and stunning new idea of what the band could do. That too became a landmark record for them and rightfully so, it changed how the music world viewed them and what they were capable of. I’ve always thought the follow-up releases (Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief) were nothing more than extensions of Kid A. Both contained their moments but failed at becoming the next watershed record we all thought would eventually happen.
    Maybe that’s the problem? After 6 stellar records, 2 or 3 of them being downright essential owns, is releasing a really good record just not enough?
    In Rainbows does its job though, and does it extremely well, there are some excellent tunes on here for sure. Nude is an amazing highlight, a song they have been working on for quite some time, and from the sound of it, they’ve nailed it. Beautiful string arrangements and a minimalist approach to the vocals are both creepy and endearing at the same time. The opening track, 15 Step, builds to an amazing climax of beats and strings and drowns out all the song’s frosty start with clank after clank of drumbeats and samples. It could be said the style of such a song is very Radiohead, though it lacks the emotional punch of earlier Radiohead songs like: How To Disappear Completely, Let Down, or Street Spirit. This is not true. There’s a lot of emotion that Thom pours into every muffled lyric. The album’s seventh track, Reckoner, oddly hangs its hat on a nice and simple, plucking guitar lead. Very Beatles inspired of all things. The guitar sound on Reckoner defiantly rubs shoulders with another almost mumbling vocal line from Thom. It proves to be another interesting mix of electronic and traditional instrumentation. The album’s closer, Videotape, is probably In Rainbow’s most cohesive, epic, yet minimalist moment. The drum and piano loops are mesmerizing, the sparse piano seems to paint this apocalyptic picture (at least in my head), and the results are amazing. This is only trumped by my favorite track, the hauntingly beautiful, All I Need. Slow in tempo and heavy on bass lines, Thom’s voice seems to sound the best when dripped at this slower pace. Great lyrics, nice and moody, it’s some wonderful stuff captured on wax, I mean MP3 file.
    So, have Thom and co. set their bar to high? I’m not sure, but as In Rainbows’ Nude says, “there’s seems to be something missing.” I just think the missing parts aren’t that important anymore, especially to the band. In the end, that’s the catch, because In Rainbows is a great record in the scheme of things. It’s a shame its business model is over-shadowing the songs in these early stages, time will tell whether that holds up. I’d like to think good songs always win out, in which case, I like Radiohead’s odds. Now, if only had some cover art to look at.