By: Corey Tate
OK, so our threshold for Radiohead media coverage may be on the wane, but why not wind it down with a look at the music itself? Music is bigger than any of the industry vs. the people vs. the bands vs. the world talk that's hit the world with all of the reverence of an iPhone launch over the past week and a half. It is all about the music, no?
Probably the most reassuring thing about listening to In Rainbows is that it's actually decent music. Nobody wants to see Radiohead stumble, and I think nobody wants to see the band put out a bum album with the way they released it and the whole world watching.
There's actually an upbeat, almost happy chord in some of the songs on this album, like the openers 15 Step and Body Snatchers. Nobody does apocalypse like Radiohead, and one of the coolest things any artist (or artists) can do is deviate from their own territory and see what it's like to take on new challenges. I think the world is ready to move beyond the post-9/11 mind set and this album is a great way to cross that threshold.
There's still the great moments of Radiohead melancholy and paranoia and fear and loathing (hear Nude for melancholy and All I Need for fear and loathing), but now we can add surreality (House of Cards) to the band's repertoire.
Instrumentation seems to be back, too. I almost feel like I'm listening the The Bends or something when In Rainbows is playing. There's a greater sense of orchestration (Faust Arp) and songwriting to complement their experimentation.
So the summation of the end-all be-all experience? It's a good one. This album, like any deep music, requires time for growth and attachment to the individual songs. Right out of the gate it's interesting and provides the elegant sense of epic grandeur we now expect from Radiohead.