Radiohead - In Rainbows

It’s a bit late, but I’ve finally gotten around to featuring Radiohead’s latest ‘event’, i.e. the release of their 7th album, In Rainbows. I won’t go into the details of its release, because I’m sure you are more than familiar with it. Instead, I’ll just offer my opinion on two important aspects:

1) The Method
There’s no doubting that the release of this album was a spectacle, propelling the future of digital music into the spotlight. Full credit to whoever came up with the idea, I thought it was brilliant little experiment. It spread their music at phenomenal speed, slapped the big record labels in the face and best of all, made the band a fair bit of money in the process. However, despite all this, I doubt it will do much to revolutionise the way we buy music. The ‘pay what you want’ system simply isn’t practical on a larger scale. Perhaps some more big bands may give it a shot, but that’s about as far as I see it going.

The execution of it all was surprisingly well-managed. When you consider how many people would have been accessing the site at once, it’s impressive how quick and smooth the process of downloading it was. And just in case you’re wondering, I actually didn’t pay anything for it. But before you go get your pitchforks, I would like to point out that I had every intention of giving a little donation, all the way up to the point that it asked for my credit card details. But it seems I wasn’t alone in this regard with only 38% of downloaders actually paying anything for it. That's not the only factor to suggest this experiment wasn't all rosy. I also think the band abused the trust of some of their best fans. At no stage did they mention that the CD would be released separately, so many fans thought the mp3s would be all they'd get. As such, they paid a decent amount for it. If they now want the higher quality CD, they’ll have to pay again. I think an upgrade scheme would have been nice, where those who paid a certain amount were sent a free CD. Still, whatever the outcome was, I doubt I'll be forgetting about this little episode anytime soon.

2) The Sound
I suppose I should preface this by saying I don’t consider myself a Radiohead fan. Sure, I love OK Computer, but I’ve never given the other albums enough time to sink in. I have the same problem with Pavement, where I latch on to one great album (Crooked Crooked Rain) and ignore the rest. Trust me, it’s not something I’m proud of. But even with my underdeveloped viewpoint, it’s pretty clear that In Rainbows is pretty special. The power of Thom’s voice is simply incredible and from start to finish the album boldly strides into some pretty brave musical territory (and pulls it off). While I’d still say I prefer OK Computer, there’s no real need to compare them. They’re separate entities that can be enjoyed independently. It’s all the more reason to look further into this great band.

(You really shouldn't need these mp3s, but here they are anyway)

– This is the obvious ‘go-to’ track. By far the most accessible, I'd say many would agree in saying it was the first to really be liked. If you’re at a party and want a track from the new Radiohead album, it’s pretty hard to go past this.

Nude – It’s a hard to say anything about this track other than ‘wow’. As far as vocals go, it’s up there with best I’ve ever heard. The emotion is so powerful and I don’t even know what he’s saying.

Released: 31/12/07 | Website |


mads said...

he sounds like jeff buckley!!

mintyfreshbeats said...

Hey everyone, check out my remix if you get a chance:

Radiohead - Nude (Minty Fresh Remix)