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2008 release, the seventh studio album from the acclaimed UK Art Rock/Britpop band fronted by the enigmatic Thom Yorke. Notoriously released as a download-only album on the band's internet site in late 2007, the physical copy of In Rainbows proves to sound more powerful and atmospheric than the compressed mp3 version of the album. 10 tracks including 'Bodysnatchers', 'All I Need' and 'House Of Cards'.
On the deliriously satisfying In Rainbows, Radiohead returns to a more straight-ahead (though subdued) rock sound. Much hubbub has been made about this record's innovative release. Radiohead allowed fans to pay what they wished to download fairly low-resolution tracks from the band's own website. Like so many innovations, it already seems funny both that it was such big news and that someone else of similar stature hadn't done it sooner. Some pundits were appalled that it took awhile to download the tracks if you tried to do it at the same time as thousands of other people, while others decried that the group was trying to kill the music industry (or save it). Little of the press seemed to focus on the record itself, which actually made sense because it was so entertaining and inviting, the most low-key album Radiohead has made to date. There's even a very straight-forward, simple, silly little love song, "House of Cards." It might be a bit lethargic, but the simple instrumentation of electric guitars, bass, and drums is lovely as heck. A handful of these tunes enchanted fans for years before finally being committed to computer "tape." This is particularly fitting as In Rainbows is the group's most "band"-sounding album since OK Computer. This is not a record that hits you over the head with how far this group is pushing the envelope; it's simply a phenomenal, well-crafted, and exciting album. As soon as it's done, you're playing it again. --Mike McGonigal
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Top Customer Reviews
And from the sound of "In Rainbows," Radiohead has decided not to let their reputation loom over them -- and I'm not just talking about the online digital release. In their latest album, they reinvent their bittersweet pop sound -- they lose some of the trappings of their past work, in favour of warmer, more intimate melodies and traditional instrumentation.
It opens on an angular note with "15 Steps," which is built around a jagged riff.The first couple minutes are full of fuzzy synth stabs and sharp drums, sounding like a jazz number that's being eaten by a computer. "How come I end up where I started?/How come I end up where I went wrong?" Thom Yorke sings mournfully. "You reel me out then you cut the string..."
But then the guitars slide in and twine through the song, softening it into something very different. The scratchy synth beats and subtle guitar start building to a slow crescendo, staying energetic and almost reggae-esque right to the end.
See it as kind of a transition song for Radiohead; they're easing listeners into their new acoustic sound, rather than just dropping us in. But after that, they pretty much leave the "Kid A" territory behind them -- "Bodysnatchers" is an intense rocker brimming with chunky riffs and softly ringing guitars. It's a gorgeous piece.
After that, the songs gently slip down into more introspective territory -- smooth, dark pop songs wrapped in a heavy blanket of fluid strings and subtle slide guitar. Some of these are dressed up in thick guitars and clattery drums.Read more ›
Whether you're new to Radiohead or an avid fan, you can't go wrong with this release. It really is bliss, absolute bliss. Each song is crafted in a delicate and incredibly melodic manner with each word coming out of Thom Yorke's mouth something that will provoke your thoughts and challenge your imagination. The band is as tight as they've ever been. Each note played here is crafted with the utmost of care yet nothing ever sounds contrived, pretentious or out of place. The people who gave this album one star never actually gave reasons, they just seem to generally dislike Radiohead. But to be honest, one listen of this record and you will not be able to consciously say you don't think they're brilliant. This is a guarantee.
Standout tracks here are definitely Nude, 15 Step, and House of Cards, though in reality all the tracks have a unique feel to them and none stand out as weak in this arsenal. To the point then, this is a beautiful record and everyone should here it at least once in their lifetimes. Within 15 years people will start to see it as classic that is almost mandatory to own. The Dark Side of the Moon for our generation.
My only complaint with the album: damn, is this thing ever quiet! I'm no expert on Radiohead, but this is easily the softest album of the three I'm familiar with. The majority of In Rainbows definitely lacks the hardness and that scrape-along-the-circuit-board sound which was a trademark appearing in both The Bends and OK Computer. I felt myself waiting for a track to explode into the album like The Bends title track and "Just" or a ripping Greenwood guitar riff like "Airbag" or "Paranoid Android" on OK Computer, but it never came.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This and Kid A have been my favourite albums for over a year now. Both have a well-crafted, all-killer-no-filler set of 10 tracks. In Rainbows, however, is more accessible. Read morePublished on April 28 2014 by Brighton Greet
This cd is probably my favorite one by Radiohead, not only was this product affordable but it brings joy to my soul!
I highly recommend this cd if you are a Radiohead fan :)
I must admit that I only listened to this album a few times during one sitting and I was deeply under the influence of absinth and it was a terrible album. Read morePublished on Sept. 8 2011 by Torie Monaghan
I'm not the biggest Radiohead fan of all time. I don't listen to them often, I didn't like Kid A, Amnesiac, or Hail to the Theif. I really liked The Bends and OK Computer. Read morePublished on May 9 2010 by Kyle Rogers