Orion’s Music reviews Radiohead’s album, ‘In Rainbows’ | ParkRecord.com
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Orion’s Music reviews Radiohead’s album, ‘In Rainbows’

ALEX HENRY, Contributing Record writer

If you haven’t heard anything about the newest album from the biggest band in the world here is a recap. Radiohead fulfilled there contract with Capitol records with its last album, "Hail to the Thief." For awhile after that, the members were looking around for a new label. Then, out of nowhere, the band announced it would release the album, "In Rainbows," themselves on its Web site, radiohead.com and allow customers to decide the price according to what they were willing to pay for it. This means you can download it for free or you can go as high as you want your choice.

It was one of the boldest moves a band can make. Some speculate the band did it to see how much its music was worth to people, others speculate the reason is that it wanted to send a message to the music industry: if the music is good people will pay for it. So far as many as 1.2 million copies have been sold, those numbers are just for the copies that were paid for.

To me, makes perfect sense. It’s a pretty strong sign that the members are on to something here. As one of the most forward-thinking bands on the planet, it has taken the initiative and left the dying CD format behind. Their new way proves that this can be done successfully and might force the music industry to change it’s views on digital content.

Now, about the album: it’s Radiohead’s best yet. The album starts with a bang with "15 Step," a more dance-oriented songs and that vibe continues with the next song "Bodysnatchers." Then there is a radical downshift to the slow gorgeous orchestral tracks "Nude" and "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" that serve as the album’s most quintessential Radiohead-style songs. Next is "All I Need," a laid back groove track and is probably one of the coolest-sounding songs. Later, "Faust Arp" and "Reckoner" both feature a new addition of a string section and it makes you wonder why Radiohead hadn’t included it before.

In contrast to the tense, dark, claustrophobia characteristic of earlier Radiohead albums, the overall feel of "In Rainbows" is mellow and bright. You can almost tell song pianist and guitarist frontman Thom Yorke has lightened up considerably. The band has also shifted its lyrics away from their usual cryptic and vague motifs. Here, the words are all more or less straight forward, optimistic and content. A good example is the final, heartbreaking song on the album, "Videotape," that describes a video York made with his two kids. "You are the center as I spin away out of control," he sings, " This has been the most perfect day." When you listen to "In Rainbows," you will know exactly what he means. It’s a bold statement, but "In Rainbows" is the most balanced and diverse piece of work Radiohead has ever done.


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